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Tuesday, October 31, 2017


I first met Frog in 1961, our sophomore year in high school.  He was a manager on the high school football team, I was a third string guard on the Varsity team.  We did not talk much.
The next year, I was a second-string guard, Frog was the head manager on the football team.  If you want to know who is more valuable to a football team, a second-string guard or the manager, ask the Head Coach…the manager wins.  We did not talk much.
The next year, I was the starting guard and Co-captain.  If you checked with the Head Coach, the manager was still the more important man on the team.  We still did not talk much.  I did once ask for a new pair of shoe laces and Frog said no.
“I’m friggin Co-captain and I can’t have shoe laces?”
“Coach says we’re running low.”
I hated Frog.
The next year I went to college and Frog went to the same school.  I bumped into him, he was rooming on the floor just below me.  We talked a lot.  We have been close friends ever since.  He still would not give me a pair of shoe laces if I asked…the shirt off his back, but not laces, it is a matter of principle.
That was 54 years ago, and we are still friends.  He has tried to get me to learn to fly fish with very little success.  I have tried to teach him to play golf with limited success.  We have shared more than a drink or two, we even shared a bed once, separated by a pair of skis and a promise of no touching. 
Between us we have been married six times, seven if you count one that may have been…never mind, that is a long story. 
There have been a lot good times, a few bad times.
Old friends are great.  They are there when you need them.  You can be an asshole and you are forgiven.  You can laugh at stuff with only the slightest mention of an event long past. 
Truth be told I don’t have many friends.  When you divorce, the friends either go to the wife, or they slowly just go their own way.  I’ve lost a lot of friends in two divorces.
Old friends don’t leave.  You may not see them often, but they are always friends. 
This week is my annual college fraternity reunion.  There will be a bunch of old friends there.  The oldest won’t make it this year, he has other obligations.  We’ll get together soon.
Why am I doing an old friends post?  There is this weeks reunion, but also I have mentioned Frog in the past,  and he recently sent me this picture from a few years ago, so I figured I should introduce him. 
It may have been before our last and final ski trip.  Final, because these old friends are too old to ski.
Frog is the one with the funny goggles.

Monday, October 30, 2017

I Am So Ashamed

I Am So Ashamed

I cheated this weekend and I am so ashamed.  I did not want to cheat, I did not seek it out, I was stalked, I was lured.  I could have walked away, I should have walked away, but I am weak and I folded, I succumbed to temptation, and I am so ashamed.

Mrs. C was away for four days this weekend working for a ballroom dance competition that her boss runs every fall.  I was left alone, alone with nothing to stop me from giving in to temptation.
It was innocent enough.  It started at the local Shop-Rite.  I did not mean for it to happen, but I did need supplies.  Maybe I can blame Mrs. C for leaving when all my meals were not provided…no, I won’t stoop that low.
I was wandering the aisles on the hunt when I was overcome by an aroma so intoxicating that it stopped me in my tracks.  I did not know such pick-ups existed much less were common in a supermarket, but there it was, temptation calling to me.  It was an aroma that whisked past that part of the brain that says, “Don’t do it” and settles in that brain lobe that says, “Yes, damn the consequences, do it…D O  I T!!!”
And I did.  I made the first move.  I strolled around looking innocent while I sized up the provocative temptation that was before my eyes. 
Not that rotisserie stuff they sell, but genuine fried in grease chicken.  Crispy skin, grease visibly oozing through the crispiness, fried chicken.  The aroma, oh my God the aroma!  And there I was, without a tug on my shirt and a firm wifely rebuke, “Move along old man, you can’t handle that!”
I looked around several times and no one seemed to care, so I grabbed that plastic container of brown gold and ran to the check-out register.  
There were six pieces in that container and when home I planned to eat one piece for dinner, maybe two, and save the rest for dinner the next night and even as a snack the day after that.
I am a weak man.  I tried to resist, but I had two pieces for lunch, and about two hours later I had three pieces for dinner.  I did save a scraggly wing for later.  I had not had proper greasy crispy fried chicken since they put the Colonel underground and I could not restrain myself. 
It was good.  It was unbelievably good, but then I went into a fried chicken coma.  It happened while sitting in front of the TV and it did not let up until around midnight.  I was released from the coma to tend to the thunderstorm that was developing in my distended stomach.
It is only now, a full day later that I am recovering.  I cheated, and I am so ashamed.  I think I have learned my lesson though.  Yes, the chicken was fantastic, but the consequences of that momentary pleasure is just not worth it.
I will never cheat again.
However, Mrs.  C is not due home for a few hours, and there is that last piece of a scraggly wing…

Sunday, October 29, 2017


here in cranky people land
This cranky re-run is from October 2014
So I was off for the golf course this Monday.  Before I left I made a mental note of three things I was going to need. 

My billfold with money, credit cards, driver’s license, and golf ID.

A new sleeve of three golf balls.

Take two Ibuprofen for my arthritic hip.

I’m ready to go and I set the house alarm, step outside and lock the door. 

“Damn, I forgot to take the Ibuprofen.”  

Now, the alarm is doing its beep-beep thing and I’m afraid that if I go in, by the time I put in the code correctly (I sometimes miss on the first try) the alarm will go off, the alarm company will call, and I don’t know the secret password.  I think its RUMPLESTILTSKIN, but what if they ask me to spell it?  Anyway, I wait until the alarm does its beep-beep-beep-beep thing and then quits.

I go inside, key in the stop alarm number, get my sleeve of golf balls, reset the alarm, go outside, and lock the door.

“Damn, I forgot to take the Ibuprofen.”

I go through the same alarm crap, go inside, key in the stop alarm number and remember to take my billfold; I set the alarm, go outside and lock the door.

“Damn, I forgot to take the Ibuprofen.”

One more time with the alarm, I take the Ibuprofen, reset the alarm, lock up and finally I’m off to the golf course.

I played pretty well.  My recorded score for nine holes was 45.  My actual score was 48.  My should-have-been score was 42.  Forty-two is a very good should-have-been score for me.

I go home on cloud nine, and Mrs. Cranky wants to go out to dinner. 

We pull into the restaurant and I realize I forgot my billfold.

“I don’t know what happened, you must have distracted me; I never forget my billfold.  Anyway I have been having a senior day.”

Sure, blame me.  No problem, I have a credit card with me.”

When we get home after dinner I go to where my billfold is usually kept.  It was not there.

“I know why I forgot my billfold. I always put it in my golf bag, and I forgot to take it out after I was done.”

I go out to the car and check the only two pockets in the bag I would ever use.  No billfold.

Now I am upset…I may have yelled…I may have used bad language.

“I am fucked! I had about $45, two credit cards, and my driver’s license in that billfold, not to mention all my health insurance cards.”

“Calm down, are you sure it’s not in the golf bag?”

“Yes I’m sure, I just checked, you need to drive me to the course, it may still be in the parking lot.”

“Let me check the bag.”

“It’s not in the bag, I JUST CHECKED…nothing…nada…zippo…I AM FUCKED.”

“I’m going to check the bag.”                           

“It’s not in the flaming bag!  I just double checked.  I have to cancel all my credit cards, and get a new license, and who knows what hell it will take to get my insurance stuff.  I am FUCKED!!”

I follow Mrs. Cranky out to my car.

“It’s not in the bag; you have to drive me to the course.”

This, by the way is a big deal because “Dancing With The Stars” is about to begin on the TV.

“I am Fucked!”

“No you are not, and I’m not driving you to the course.”

“Why not?”

“Because here is your billfold, it was in the pocket with your rain jacket.”

“What, I never use that pocket.”

“You did today...jerk.”

I    l  o  v  e    Mrs. Cranky.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


It’s time again for
Imagine that! 
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments. 
Pole Dancing, and poker to become Olympic sports? Hmmm, what happens in the Olympics stays in the Olympics.
British man hides in the woods for 10 years to escape wife's nagging – Live in the woods…face nagging wife; live in the woods…face nagging wife…that is the classic no-brainer!
The Queen owns a McDonald's outside of London – Burger Queen?
Brain may know your dead after you die – It just doesn’t know who to tell.
Florida wedding crasher spying on 'boyfriend' sparks bridesmaids brawl – What would “Stupid Headlines” do without Florida?
Woman attacks 7-Eleven clerk with hot nacho cheese because ‘the customer is always right’ – You’ll never guess what State this wack-a-doodle is from.
Long Island man accused of sex with multiple horses – And I thought Florida was bad.  This puts a whole new meaning to “just horsing around.”  Come to think of it, “just horsing around.” has always sort of meant that, just not in such a literal way.
IHOP waiter stops robber with martial arts skills – It takes bravery to stop any robber, but to stop a robber who has martial arts skills is extra gutsy.
Wisconsin man gets locked in beer cooler, starts drinking – Well yeah!
Liberals Plan to 'Scream Helplessly at the Sky' on Election Anniversary – If that doesn’t work they will hold their breath until they turn blue.
Teens Disguised as Bushes in New Jersey Park May Face Charges – Obama and Trump disguises are still allowed.
Ohio gas station cashier pummels would-be robber – This poor thief got knocked out and busted up bad…and yet it makes me feel good.

Friday, October 27, 2017


Another cranky opinion for
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man who sometimes just rambles on and does not know where his opinion is going.  Other rambling opinions are welcome, but please, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid-head!
Michael Jackson was one of the greatest entertainers of our time.  He was also, by many credible accounts, a child molesting monster.
Bill Cosby was perhaps the funniest comedian I have ever seen.  He was a role model to many, and “America’s Dad.”  He was also, by many credible accounts, a serial rapist.
Woody Allen is a talented comedian, writer and director.  He married his adopted daughter…some find this disturbing.
President Bill Clinton was a brilliant politician, and history will quite probably find him to have been one of our most effective and successful Presidents.  He was, by many credible accounts, a serial womanizer and rapist.  He was and still is very charming…to many people.
Harvey Weinstein was a successful, powerful movie producer.  He was sought after by many for his money and his endorsements.  It is becoming evident that he is not a very nice person
President Trump is a successful brilliant business man.  He can be humorous and charming, he can be nasty, and he is almost always arrogant.  He could be a very successful President, but his demeanor and inability to back down from the wrong battles may be his downfall.*
J. Edgar Hoover was a great crime fighter.  He ran the FBI for 40 some years and made it a great investigative force in the country and probably helped keep the country safe.  He wore a dress yet despised homosexuals, and used his power to bully anyone he had a disagreement with.  He was feared by everyone.  By many credible accounts, he was not a very nice person.
Adolph Hitler was a dynamic, stimulating public speaker.  He became a very powerful man.  He murdered over nine million people.
The list is endless, I could go on and on.  Great patriots in our past who were slave owners.  Successful people in many fields who were racists, drug addicts, deviates, murderers, child abusers and spouse beaters.  Many great successful people who have or had serious defects that we will never know about because we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors or their power and fame protect them from prosecution for their persecution.
Is it power and fame that corrupts? 
Maybe it is a deal with the Devil, “I will grant you great powers, if you ruin and hurt a lot of people.” 
Perhaps there is just something about the brain that allows only so much talent and the talent pushes the part of the brain that recognizes empathy, kindness and acceptable behavior out of the way.
Of course, many talented, successful people in this world are also good citizens; charitable, empathetic, salt of the Earth nice people; at least we think they are. 
I loved O.J. Simpson, one of the best athletes ever and a fun loving charming person.  Everyone loved OJ…Oops.
Mickey Mantle was my childhood hero.  Bigger than life, the consummate Yankee slugger, charming, fun loving, a fan favorite.  He had his demons; womanizing, drinking, he was maybe not the nicest person to his own family.
Interesting how so many people who have made the world a better place, have such disturbing traits.** 
We all live our lives on a scale.  Some weigh heavy on the helpful, productive, nice side.  Some tip the balance to evil, mean and destructive.  It is not always easy to determine which way any one person tilts the scale.
I try to be productive.  I don’t like being mean or hurtful to anyone in any way. I know I have no great talent, I was never an especially hard worker, or particularly successful at anything.  I hope my scale does not tilt to the wrong side.
How much does “Jerk” weigh?
The preceding rambling opinion was that of a cranky old man and necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.

*No need to bash here, I get your position, the horse is already dead, stop beating it.
**No, I do not think Hitler made the world a better place.   I'm just rambling...OK!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

No Fun Allowed

No Fun Allowed
I used to be a member of a small pool club.  There was a pool, a bbq area, two tennis courts and rules.  There were lots of rules.
No running inside the fenced pool sitting area.
No food inside the fenced pool sitting area.
No fins or float devices in the pool.
No ball playing in the pool.
No dangerous dives off the board.
No playful tossing children in the pool.
Bathing caps required for long hair.
No alcohol
No smoking
Proper attire must be worn at all times.
No roller skating or skateboarding in the tennis courts.
Many of the rules were subject to interpretation.
I used to say there should be one sign as you entered the club:
I recently read about a school that was ending their traditional Halloween parade.  Instead there will be a black and orange day where kids can wear black and orange but no costumes.  I guess they are afraid some costumes might be offensive.
Personally, I never understood Halloween or costumes in school.  There were no costumes in school in my day.  We put on our costumes and trick or treated after school.  However, if you have a tradition, give me a good reason to cancel it and don’t replace it with some stupid “Black and Orange day.”
They cancelled this tradition in my son’s school years ago.  The kids were very disappointed.  I believe the reason was security.  With the kids in costumes and parents also wearing costumes they feared nare-do-wells would sneak in and do bad things.
Stupid?  I think so.
You can name any function, game, tradition, or activity, and I can give you a reason why it is dangerous or offensive.  I think it is time to make it official, no more complicated rules, no more arguments or discussion, just put a big sign for all who enter this country to see:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cooking Cranky Style

Cooking Cranky Style

OMG…I just saw another celebrity pushing his new cook book.  How many friggin cook books can the world possibly need?  Who buys these cook books?  How many cook books could a person possibly have?

I can’t believe there is anything in the culinary world that has not already been covered by Bobby Flay, Mario Battaglia, Julia Child, Betty Crocker, humpteen other famous chefs or even the ubiquitous “The Joy of Cooking.”

Do we really need cookbooks from a ditsy “House Wife of New Jersey” or a fashion freak from a reality TV show?  What does an actor or an athlete knownavout cooking that has not already been covered?

It is just ridiculous.


Maybe the world needs a book of Cranky recipes.  Meals that are quick, easy, need no special ingredients and are tasty.  Food that is not special, but that anyone can make.  Simple stuff that can be whipped together without extensive shopping, planning and measuring.  Meals that are easy clean ups.


Wrong pasta, but close

My first dish is my go to meal when I just want something filling and simple.

Ingredients for one serving:

Elbow noodles - two cups

Bacon – five slices

Peas – one cup frozen

Mushroom soup – Half can of Campbells

Butter – Two soupspoons

Salt – a lot

1.    Cook the five slices of bacon to extra crispy

2.    Add a lot of salt to boiling water, stir in the elbow noodles and cook for 8 minutes until NOT dente.

3.    Microwave the peas until done, about 1 minute 45 seconds

4.    Drain the elbow noodles 

5.    Mix mushroom soup with the noodles

6.    Crumble four slices of bacon and add to the noodles

7.    Add the butter

8.    Stir in the peas

9.    Eat the fifth slice of bacon

Garnish with a glass of Pinot Grigio or a bottle of beer and serve.

That is Cranky recipe number one…is there book potential?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


I bought a Jeep Wrangler in 1991.  There was nothing fancy on this car.  It had an AM/FM radio, but it had power nothing.  It did have expensive wheels.  Titanium, or something, I don’t remember, but I do remember the salesman advising me that I get special lug nuts that require a “key” that fit into the wrench which matched grooves in the lug nuts.
“If you have regular lugs, someone will just steal the wheels as they are worth a lot and are easy to sell.”
I paid extra for the special lug nuts…maybe $150, I don’t remember.
I had these special lug nuts which actually required two keys because there was one different lug nut for the spare tire.  Please don’t ask why, I don’t remember…there was a reason.
I owned this Jeep from ’91 to ’07.  During that time, I had to change a flattened tire five times.  Yes, that is a lot, one tire had a slow leak that I kept thinking I had fixed.  Fitting the special key to a lug nut was a giant pain.  I guess if you did it all the time it would be easy, but for me it was a giant pain.  The key did not easily fit into the nut, you had to fiddle with it a lot.  To make matters worse sometimes I grabbed the key for the spare and it took time to figure out the correct key.
Sometimes the key slipped when a nut was on extra tight and I was always afraid of stripping a nut.  Did I mention changing a tire was a giant pain because of these “special” lug nuts? 
I kept the special lug nut keys in the glove compartment.  One day while looking for my registration, I noticed the keys were missing.
“Crap, now if I have a flat, I won’t be able to change the tire.”  I got a bit panicky over this, because that is what I do.  I asked my wife (the slightly unstable one) if she had seen the keys that were in the glovebox. 
“Were they little metal thingies?”
“I threw them away.”
“What?  Why would you throw them away?”
“Don’t yell at me, it’s your fault, you never told me what they were, they just seemed like junk to me.”
“But you hardly even drive the car, why would you not think to…”
I was cut off by a barrage of language which indicated I was the vacating opening of an animal, a fornicating animal to be precise.  I had learned that when I was described as the vacating opening of a fornicating animal, it was time to step back and end the discussion.  It could only get uglier.  Did I mention she had moments of instability?
Now I was a vacating opening of a fornicating animal who did not have the ability to change a flat tire.  Not a situation I was comfortable with.
I drove the next day to my mechanic at Tom’s Auto Repair.
“I’ve got a problem.”
“Whatcha got?”
“I lost the key to my lug nuts.  Is there any way to replace them without costing an arm and a leg?”
“I could just replace them with regular nuts.”
“But how would you get the current ones off without a key?”
“Oh, there is a tool for that, take me about five minutes to change them all out.”
“What? There is a tool for that?”
“Can anyone get that tool?”
“Than what good are the special lug nuts when any crook can simply use the tool and steal my wheels?”
“Beats me.”
When I bought my new Jeep in 2007, I saved $150 and did not buy special lug nuts.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sarge’s List

Sarge’s List
The Old Airforce Sarge @ posted answers to a list that was sent to him.  I hate these kinds of lists…usually, but for some reason I decided to respond.  His comment field would not take the number of charactures, so here is my response in a post of my own:
Sarge’s List of Stuff...Sarge’s answers in ItalicsCRANKY ANSWERS IN CAPS AND BOLD:

1. Favorite smell? Late autumn in Vermont.  PIZZA
2. Last time you cried? Tuesday. 
Remember?   ABOUT 7 YEARS AGO
3. Favorite pizza? Deep dish, extra cheese, black olives, peppers, pepperoni, and Italian sausage.  NY STYLE SAUSAGE AND MUSHROOMS
4. Favorite flower? Daffodil.   PANSY
5. Did you go to college? Yes, three places, two degrees. I am over-educated and under-challenged.    LAFAYETTE
6. Untie your shoes when taking them off? Yup, unless they're my boat shoes.   WHATEVER

7. Roller coasters? Nope. Designed by engineers, maintained by high school drop outs.    I AGREE
8. Favorite ice cream? Black raspberry with dark chocolate chips. Just leave the tub.  
9. Favorite past time? Blogging (apparently).
10. Shorts or jeans? Cargo shorts in summer, jeans the rest of the year.   I AGREE
11. What are you listening to? My keyboard clicking and my hard drive humming.   TV IS ALWAYS IN THE BACKGROUND
12. Favorite Color? Blue, though green is a close second.  DITTO
13. Tattoos? Negative. No. Nein, 
14. Piercing? See #13.    NO WAY

15. Color of hair? When I was a lad - blond, as a youth and adult - brown, now? Grey, mostly.   BALDING GREYISH
16. Color of eyes? Blue.   BROWN

17. Favorite food? What day is this?   THANKSGIVING/ITALIAN/CHINESE
18. Favorite holiday? Christmas, with Thanksgiving a close second.
19. Beer or wine? Yes (What, you thought I wouldn't go there again?)  
20. Night owl or morning person? Night owl.   DITTO
21. Favorite day of the week? Every other Friday, every Saturday.  I’M RETIRED, BUT STILL FRIDAY

22. Do you have a Nickname? Yes. (Sarge for one, no, seriously.)  JOWLES/BULLET/TURTLE/CRANKY
23. Pictures on your wall? Oil paintings of Paris, that we bought  in Paris. MY WIFE’S DISNEY CRAP
24. What makes you most proud? The progeny and the grand progeny.
25. Favorite music? Almost anything. (No gospel, no rap, hold the twang in country.)  ANYTHING EXCEPT GREGORIAN CHANTING, EVEN SOME RAP
26. Favorite armored fighting vehicle? Panzerkampfwagen V, the Panther.  I GOT NOTHING
27. Favorite fighter aircraft? Spitfire. Duh. (Yes, the Mustang is a close second, neck and neck with almost anything which flies.)  I GOT NOTHING
28. Favorite period of history? Napoleonic Wars.  RIGHT NOW
29. Favorite book? If you held a gun to my head... John Elting's Swords Around a Throne. (Hunt for Red October is a close second.)  IF YOU HELD A GUN TO MY HEAD, WHAT EVER YOU WANT
30. Favorite season? Autumn in New England. It's pretty nice in Korea, Colorado, and Germany as well.  CAN’T ARGUE WITH AUTUMN…MMM SMELLS LIKE FOOTBALL! 
31. Smartest move ever made? Marrying The Missus Herself.
32. Dumbest move ever made? Not trying harder at something. Which I still won't talk about. The time isn't right.  EVEN SOME OF MY DUMBEST HAD THEIR POSITIVES
33. Goal in life? Have fun.   KEEP ON KEEPING ON
34. Do I believe in magic in a young girl's heart?   (Insert Lovin Spoonful track) To put it that way, Yes  YES, AND YOUNG IS BREATHING
35. Do I I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day? Nah, not really. NOT EVEN IN THE DAY
36. Fondest memory? There are many, all have to do with the births of my children and grandchildren. Though the day The Missus Herself said "Yes" is hard to beat.   MANY, I’VE BEEN PRETTY LUCKY
37. Saddest memory? There are far too many, all have to do with the deaths of family and friends. For what it's worth, that includes all those who faithfully and honorably serve.  NOT TOO MANY, I’VE BEEN PRETTY LUCKY
38. Most fun ever? Aerobatics in an SNJ-6. The most fun one can have with their clothes on. So they say. One is fun, one is superb. Superb involves flying.
39. Foreign places visited? Japan, Korea, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Italy. Though I've been to the UK and Canada, they didn't feel foreign at all.  CANADA, CARRIBEAN ISLANDS…THAT’s ALL I GOT AND I’M GOOD WITH THAT