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Friday, March 30, 2018

A Dinner Conversation

A Dinner Conversation
I went out to dinner the other night with Mrs. C.  We go out for dinner a lot.  Mrs. C works three nights a week and does not particularly like to cook, so we eat out at least twice a week and do take-out or instant frozen food other nights.  When she is working, I grill for myself.
Anyway; we did dinner out the other night. 
What do you talk about when dining out?  When you’ve been together almost ten years, you kind of run out of dinner conversation material.
Usually we people watch and talk about the other diners.  Sometimes we make up scenarios about the other diners.
“Look at that couple, you know that they are married, but not to each other.”
“Yeah, they’re doing the googly eye thing and they are too old for that if they were married to each other. Maybe they are just dating.”
“At 6:30? Way too early, that is getting-off-work-and-fooling-around time.  They probably have a motel room around the block that they are going back to until he is through ‘Working late’”.
This night was not a good night for people watching.
Mrs. C was working on a loaf of bread they gave us, pulling off the crust and dipping it in butter while we were waiting for our entre.
“The crust is the best part, I wonder why kids always fight about eating it.”
“Because parents always ask if they want the crust cut off.  My parents never asked, and if you ate around it you got a lecture about starving kids in China.”
“Yes, and then the lecture how the crust is the healthiest part of the loaf, which it is.”
“How is it the healthiest?  It’s all the same ingredients, the crust is just the part that gets the direct heat and gets…well…crusty.”
“It is healthier, I read it someplace.”
“Baloney, just another parent myth to make kids eat the crust.”
“I always wonder why kids don’t like the crust, but they think the best part of pudding is the skin on the top.”
“There isn’t skin on pudding anymore.”
“What!  Why not?”
“Everyone now buys processed ready to eat out of a container pudding, not the stuff from the mix that sits in the fridge and gets the skin on each cup of pudding.”
“Really?  Bummer. I haven’t had pudding in years.  I’d want the skin part.”
“Sorry, you’re out of luck.”
“Hey, look at this couple that just came in.  She is way older, I’ll bet she’s what they call a cougar.”
“Maybe, but I think it is just a mom and her son.”
“Here comes our dinner, eat fast or we’ll miss the beginning of “Say Yes to the Dress.”
Life with the Cranky’s…it just does not get more exciting.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Men Think; Women Feel

Men Think; Women Feel

OK, before you get your shorts all twisted…IN GENERAL!

When we discuss genders or race or religion or anything today we have to say “IN GENERAL” or be prepared to be hit with opposing examples, and stamped with a negative label, so to this topic…IN GENERAL!!



When discussing any topic, when making a decision, men think and women feel.  Perhaps that is why men dominate fields like math and science, women excel in occupations that require empathy and character assement,


Just listen to almost any conversation between a man and a woman.

 Invariably the man will start a comment with, “Well, I just think that…”

The woman will almost always respond, “I feel that…”

Often thinking and feeling come to the same conclusions.

Global warming:

“I think that increasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is going to trap heat and add to global warming.”

“I feel that constant burning of coal and oil just has to add to warming the planet!”

Sometimes thinking loses out to feeling.

Picking a contractor:

“I like Mr. Perkins, he had all the right answers, I think he really knows his stuff and would do a great job.”

“I don’t know, he just feels creepy to me.”

Do Not Hire Mr. Perkins!

Sometimes thinking is better than feeling.

“I think we would be better off with a van as our family is growing.”

“I feel like the little convertible is just sooo cute.”

I think it is this different way of viewing the world and making decisions that makes for a successful partnership of a man and a woman.  Men need to learn trust his wife’s feelings, women need to give credibility to what a man thinks.

Mrs. C feels I am all wrong about this.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

And yet I Missed Her

And yet I Missed Her
Mrs. C was away for a week working at a Ballroom Dance competition.  I was very careful to not change anything while she was away.  Mrs. C does not do well with change. 
In her absence I was good about keeping things as clean and as neat as a house of a semi-hoarder can be kept.  The bathrooms were all cleaned and floors steamed.  Dishes were all washed.  I changed three things…they were executive decisions.
First, I hung up two winter coats that have been laying on a chair for five months.  The chair is one that I like to sit and watch TV when I am in the kitchen area.  It is a chair she gave me one Christmas for just that purpose, until it became a coat rack.  I figured this was a safe decision, she could always take the coats out of the closet and throw them back on the chair.
The second decision involved a change jar we keep at the entrance of the house.  Years ago, I bought a change jar that could read each coin that drops through the coin slot and keep a running tabulation of how much change was in the jar.  I bought this to replace a Stewarts root beer bottle that had a quarter sized slot carved into the cap.  I finally replaced the root beer jar with the upgrade but I was smart enough to not throw the old bottle away.
My final decision involved a kitchen rack for holding sponges, a potato brush and other stuff.  This rack had suction cups for holding it on the wall, but it was simply resting on the kitchen counter.  I stuck it to the wall.
When Mrs. C came home she barely made it through the front door and blurted out with rising panic in her voice,
“What is this?  Where is the change bottle? Did you throw it away?”
“I know better than that, this bottle is an upgrade, the old bottle is safe, though God only knows why you want it.”
“I liked that bottle!”
She next went into the Kitchen TV area to throw her coat on my chair.
“Where are my coats!”
“Oh, for crap sake, I put them in the closet, go get them and throw them on the chair before you go totally wack-a-doodle.”
The piece de resistance was the sponge holder.
“You stuck the sponge holder to the wall?”
“Yes, that’s what those suction things are for.  If you didn’t want it stuck on the wall why did you buy something with those suction cups?”
“I thought it would stick to the Corian backing, but it is too high.  You stuck it to the paint, and it will pull paint off the wall.”
“It will be fine.”
“It’s going to ruin the paint!”
“For crap sake, it’s not going to pull off any paint, and if it does, I’ll stick it back up where the paint was and no one will ever see!”
“I’ll know.”
“Get over it!”
“Welcome home…I missed you.”
“I missed you too…but you’re still a jerk.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New Jersey Emergency Management System Test

New Jersey Emergency Management System Test
I am a late-night person.  I watch a lot of TV.  I watch a lot of TV late at night.

Periodically, generally after 1AM, The New Jersey Emergency Management System conducts a test.
This test consists of the TV going blue and an unreadably message drifting across the top of the blue screen.  Then a voice comes on that sounds as if the announcer was a drop-out from the NYC Subway system.  If you have not had the pleasure of riding a NYC subway, especially years ago before pre-recorded messages, the announcements sounded something like this,
This is the (lots of static) fremading train making all stops between (lots of static)  8th frem and friourtheenth arbendo; next stop (lots of static) please watch your (lots of static) when exiting the train.
It seems that the New Jersey Emergency Management System demands weekly testing of the ability to interrupt all TV channels and leave indiscernible instructions on any pending emergency and what steps to take to protect yourself. 
I suppose that if you do not watch a lot of TV, you will miss this message and your inevitable demise will come as a complete surprise.
I think I might prefer the surprise, rather than running around like a chicken without a head, panicking and trying to find out what the Emergency Management System warning just said.
“Was that just a test?”
“I don’t know, it sounded real.”
“What is a ‘blerg popping pundle’ and where is the nearest ‘shendal’ that we need to ‘pretend to cobble to?’
“I don’t know, I didn’t understand a thing they just said.  It sounded serious, but if they want us to ‘cobble to the nearest ‘shendal’ to avoid the ‘blerg popping pundle,’ why did the ‘Leave it to Beaver’ re-run come back on the air?”
“You know what, turn to the Game Show Network, if I’m about to be ‘blerg poppin pundled,’ I want to be ‘pundled’ watching ‘Cash Cab.’”
I appreciate that New Jersey has an Emergency Management System. It is great that they are so concerned about testing this system.  I do have to wonder, with all these tests, does anyone not realize that the only thing they are currently capable of doing is interrupting a show at the worst possible time, scaring the crap outta people, and telling us nothing?

Bring on the Sunshine

Bring on the Sunshine

With Winter fading out ever so slowly and days of sun growing longer I once again observe a yearly phenomenon.  Losing weight.

Now I do like the Winter and snow, for a while, but when spring comes calling, I am ready.  I also lose weight.  Is it just me?  Every year I vow to drop a few pounds after the holidays, and every year, regardless of how much I diet or go to the gym my weight stays the same.

I just about give up on dropping any pounds, when along comes daylight savings and in a week the weight starts to fall.  I wondered, is this just me and so I Googled it.

It seems there is a correlation between sun light and weight control.

The article I read theorized that sunlight shrinks fat cells.  Hmmm.

I have another theory.  I think the body wants to maintain a constant weight based on food availability.  Evolution has genetically programmed us to have a slower metabolism in the Winter when food historically was less abundant.  In the spring and summer when food was historically more abundant our metabolism speeds up.

The food supply also aids this fat programming.  In the fall sugary fruits are plentiful and carbo full grains are harvested.  Holidays where food plays a prominent role come just before the coming cold and snow.

We feast and gorge ourselves to fatten up much like bears before hibernation, and we burn calories slowly.  When the days grow longer a switch goes off in our brain that says “burn baby burn” as the body will need to be lighter and faster to gather food and dodge predators.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.  Works for me, fatter in the winter when you need insulation and heavy clothes cover up that belly; lean and mean in the warm weather to stay cool.

So I say, stop the guilt with those Winter pounds.  Fill up during the Holidays and enjoy, pack on that fat to get you through a Winter of sparse food supplies, when the days grow longer, your body will know what to do.

Also, you should probably eat better and go to the gym.      

Sunday, March 25, 2018



a cranky re-run from March 2012 

Some people show they are stupid when they try to sound smart.  Some people apparently are just proud to sound stupid.  Some people are just stupid.  The following are just a few examples of:

Cranky’s indicators of stupid

Screwing up on the past tense – These nimrods are never sure of their past tense.   

“I went to the store” or “I had gone to the store” becomes “I had went to the store.”  

“They ate dinner” or “They had eaten dinner” becomes “They had ate dinner.” 

Sometimes I think they screw up the tenses on purpose; I believe they are proud of their stupidity.

“Things of that nature” - This is a beauty.  “We were buying groceries and things of that nature.”  What this idiot is really doing is trying to dress up that neon sign of stupidity “and shit.” The proper use of the tense “were” instead of “was” helped to disguise this person’s stupidity; “things of that nature” gives him away.

YO is not a word.  Stupid people think “Yo” means excuse me, and saying it makes interrupting perfectly alright.  Yo yo yo equals triple stupid!

Basically, stupid people love to say basically.  People that preface everything with “basically” light up the stupid meter.  “Basically we had went to the store.”

Can you say “Like” enough?  “I was like “what?” And he was like all “oh yeah,” so I was like“that’s right” and he was like “I don’t think so” then I was like……

“You know” just accentuates stupid: “I was you know like “what?” And he was like all “oh yeah,” you know so I was like “that’s right” you know and he was like you know “I don’t think so” then I was you know like……

Stupid people revel in not using the possessive.  “I was gone to my mom house.”  “They piled into he car.”  “All three went back to they home.” 

Using inappropriate words to try and sound intelligent: We were conversating and he accusatorily intimated that my veracity was deficienativly unarticulated.

Putting it all together, “We were talking and he called me a liar.”

 Becomes (in stupid) “Yo yo yo, like basically we had be conversating and things of that nature at they house, you know, and he like basically accusatorily intimated that my, you know, veracity was like deficienativly unarticulated.


Stupid Headlines 032518

Stupid Headlines 032518
it is time again for
Evansville cops or Keystone cops?
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.
Politician walks back 'unqualified lesbian' slam of actress/gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon – I would think that the requirements for being a lesbian are pretty simple…wouldn’t an “unqualified” lesbian just be a straight woman?
Ringo Starr receives knighthood for services to music I love the Beatles, and though he was a last-minute addition, I even like Ringo, but I just don’t think I could bring myself to say “Sir Ringo.”
How to lose $5B in two days? Just ask Mark Zuckerberg – Losing $5 billion is easy, the hard part is first making $500 billion.
MA Lawmaker: Rename 'General Hooker' Entrance at State House – Lawmaker suggests calling it the “Whore Door.”
Women's college instructs professors not to call students 'women' – College instead suggest “people who get really angry once a month.”
Serial toilet clogger on the loose in Wisconsin – Maybe it’s just the cheese.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg ranks the best cities to buy scrunchies – And this woman is deciding the law? Has she even watched “Sex and the City”?
Biden says he would 'beat the hell' out of Trump if in high school – Joe, what are you, twelve?
Trump fires back at Biden: He's 'mentally and physically' weak – Fight, fight, fight…Don King is shopping this one around.
Austin bomber's chilling 'confession': 'I wish I were sorry but I am not' – That’s ok, we will consider your blowing your ass up as an apology…thank you.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg rules that hot dogs are sandwiches – End of controversy, a wise decision indeed, love me some RBG!*

*An extremely rare double Ruth Bader Ginsberg headline week. 
Surgeon Walks 3 Hours In The Snow To Perform Surgery On Cancer Patient – Talk about your house calls!
Come back next week for more

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Driverless Cars

Driver-less Cars
A cranky opinion for
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man who has no knowledge on the topic opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome, ok not welcome, but will be tolerated…maybe.  As always, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid-head!
Never in my life would I have envisioned such a thing as a driver-less car.  Personally, I think they are a very bad idea, but then I am old.  I thought ATM’s were a bad idea.  I hate self-checkouts, and downloading a book onto an electronic reading device still boggles my mind.
Very smart people are investing tons of money on driver-less cars, so even though I think they are a bad idea, I suspect they will someday be common.
Recently Uber has been testing driver-less cars.  Last week one hit a lady who was walking her bike across the street, not in a crosswalk.  There was a person behind the wheel of the Uber car, but a video shows he was dosing off, I assume from boredom.
The video also shows the accident.  Sadly, the woman was killed.  I have read that driver-less cars are possibly safer and more reliable than a manually operated car. 
Perhaps, but there will be accidents and law suits might be the demise of the technology.
This recent accident has put the Uber test on hold at least temporarily.  As much as I don’t like the idea of driver-less cars, from the video I saw, the accident was not the fault of the car.
This woman was casually walking her bike across a street at night.  There was almost no traffic.  The lady was looking straight ahead as it seems to me is common with pedestrians today.  Had she looked both ways like they used to teach in first grade, she would have either safely jogged across the street or waited five seconds for the Uber to pass and then crossed.
Based on the video, if the man behind the wheel was alert he still probably would not have seen the pedestrian in time. 
I thought the driver-less technology could detect a sudden obstacle in the dark, but it did not.  Perhaps it was a malfunction or maybe the car was only programmed to detect crosswalk activity. 
If the technology needs tweaking to improve, this accident is a sad way to find out, however I think perhaps we also need pedestrian technology. 
If pedestrians no longer have the skill to cross a street, if the old-look-both-ways technology is no longer in use, perhaps we need a mindless-pedestrian app.  Cell phones should scan the area when a pedestrian is walking and if the pedestrian is about to walk into a lamppost it would sound an alert, or if crossing a street, the app will give the walker a shock if it detects a car coming in the direction the pedestrian is going.
Technology is great, but with it we lose certain abilities.  Calculators have made doing math in your head obsolete.  Since using a keyboard almost exclusively, I can barely write my own name on a check. 
Driver-less cars might be great, but if the GPS system is down, future riders will not have a clue how to operate a car.
I don’t know what technology has caused pedestrians to no longer know how to cross a street, maybe this skill should be taught again in the first grade.
This accident was sad, and I do feel for this lady and her loved ones, but Holy Hannah, how difficult is it to cross a street?
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.   

Thursday, March 22, 2018

My Brother vs The Antipennyite

My Brother vs The Antipennyite

That retired teacher from Missouri, Val the Dictorian@, is a collector of pennies.  She often complains of antipennyites who do not appreciate the value of a penny. 

It reminds me of a story of my brother, an event I am quite sure he thought nothing of and will not remember.

My older brother was a lawyer and was quite successful.  He was later a Clinton appointee Federal Judge.  He retired a few years ago.

Besides being incredibly smart, (he graduated from Harvard Law) and hardworking, my brother is probably the most honest person I have ever known.  He is very competitive but would never think of gaining an advantage by cheating. 

The law came natural to him as the law is the only way to fairly settle disputes.  Without our legal system there would be chaos, and without honest people in that system there would be anarchy.


A few years ago, I was visiting and we stopped for a few items at a pharmacy, probably ibuprofen and some gum, before playing golf.  My brother paid with a fiver and when he got his change back calculated he was short one penny.  He told the cashier that he was short a penny, and the mathematical calculations were discussed.

Behind us was a lady who was clearly in a hurry.  She was exasperated over my brothers taking time to resolve the penny deficiency.

“Oh, for crying out loud, what is the difference?  It is only a penny.”

Now my brother, who I know for certainty would have also argued to return the penny had it been incorrectly dispersed to him, responded calmly in a manner which I feel defines his judicial personality and his honesty.

He turned and said calmly but firmly,

“The difference is, it is my penny.”

Of many experiences with my brother, of the things he has taught me, and the things he has accomplished that makes me admire him, this simple comment that made me laugh, somehow defines his value system and reverence to the law.

Whenever I hear someone complain about something they may think is inconsequential, I think,

“The difference is, it is my penny.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Our townhome is heated by forced hot air.  Forced hot air is a very efficient system to install and works quite well except for one flaw.  Forced hot air sucks humidity from the home.  In order to keep a comfortable environment with this system you either need a million house plants, or a humidifier.
We have a humidifier in our bedroom.  I run it every night.  Without it my skin gets dry and itchy and my nasal cavity gets so dry I becomes susceptible to germs and colds.
The humidifier seems very simple.  Fill it with water, turn it on. 
Except it is not simple. 
I cannot work this machine. 
It is so NOT simple that I can’t even explain what it is that I do wrong, but when I fill it up and then turn it on, it will put out a mist for maybe three minutes and then just shut down.
Mrs. C knows how to fill it and make it work, so it is her job.  I do not touch the humidifier and all is well in the Cranky Home.
This week Mrs. C is away working at a Ballroom Dance Competition that the studio she works for is hosting. 
She did not want me to touch the humidifier. 
I complained that I would dry like a prune without it.
She relented and carefully demonstrated the process to me.
“Turn this knob to the arrow.  Remove the mister.  Do not let it touch anything and be gentle.  Then lift the water receptacle out and be very careful not to drop or bump it into anything.  Move it carefully to the bathroom to fill it up.  If the tiny fremenger gets jostled, the machine will shut down.”
“I’m pretty sure I can remove, fill and replace the receptacle all by my big boy self!”
No, I don’t know what the fremenger is or what it does or looks like.
Last night I had to refill the humidifier.  I carefully removed the mister.  I then lifted the receptacle up.  It did not budge.  I jiggled it.  It did not budge.  I yanked it and it did not budge.
I may have been about to lose my temper when I noticed a piece of tape was holding the receptacle to the machine.  I ripped the tape off and yanked the receptacle out with perhaps a bit too much effort as perhaps I was a bit annoyed about the tape.
I dropped the receptacle.
I filled it anyway and placed back on the machine, screwed in the mister and turned it on. 
It worked just fine, for maybe three minutes, when a red light came on and the misting stopped,
I fiddled and fuddled again and again with the same result.
“I hate this friggin machine!! Why do I need an engineering degree to work a friggin humidifier?”
Besides my eminent prunification, I dreaded having to tell Mrs. C that I couldn’t make the damn thing work.  On the other hand, I wanted to cuss her out for taping the thing together, because of course this issue was her fault
After about my fifteenth try at getting this piece of crap to work I may have lost my temper a bit and gave the dang thing a whack.
I heard a “Whirr” and the mister did its thing.
Who said I can’t fix stuff?
Later that night when Mrs. C called to make sure I was surviving without her, I questioned why the tape.
“That was to keep you from turning it too high and to preserve water.”
“Oh, ok.”
I left it at that and said nothing of my trials and tribulations caused by her tape. 
I only would have been called a jerk.