This blog is now sugar FREE, fat FREE, gluten FREE, all ORGANIC and all NATURAL!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Brand-New Car

A Brand-New Car

There is a new car in the Cranky family.  My Jeep was 11 years old and Mrs. C refused to drive it because it is a bit of a “rough ride” her opinion not mine, and it does not have cruise control, which I hate.

Anyway, time for a change. 

The new car is a small Honda, not particularly exciting, but for some reason new cars have not excited people since the 50’s or 60’s when any new car on the block would bring all the neighbors out to gawk and drool.  These days it is pretty hard to tell if a car is new or a 2011 model that just got detailed.

I was leaning to a small Cadillac, just to own a Cadillac, but decided it was not practical, would be a tight fit in my garage, and is kind of an old man car.  I have enough old man stuff going on for me already.

As boring as a Honda might be, it is going to take me a few weeks to learn all its bells and whistles.

It has a back-up camera which I like because my head does not spin around like it used to, but there are three different camera settings…one would have been fine.

It has an audio system with am, fm, and satellite radio, plus a cd player and a few audio things that I have no idea what they are.  There are several ways to access all these features, touch screen, buttons, and voice command.  I am used to am/fm with a station dial and five preset stations.  It took me three minutes to figure out my Jeep radio.  This new technology will take me a few weeks even with help from Mrs. C.

A navigation system is nice, but I was just getting comfortable using SIRI on my phone.  This system is twice as complicated with three times the options.  I do not really like options.

The car beeps and yells out warnings for any approaching vehicle…I have to get used to the backseat driver that is in my control panel.

Setting the emergency brake and taking it off is tricky.  The heating/air and fan operation is not just a simple switch and all the options are making my head spin.  I miss “On” “Off” “High” “Low.”

The car requires no key to open the doors or start the engine.  There is a “Fob” that when it is close to the car unlocks the door and when it is in the car allows the push of a button to start the car.  This is great except:

I’ve read that thieves can boost the signal with some fancy electronic gadgets and unlock and even steal your car, even if your Fob is inside the house.  Now I need to buy a Fob cover that blocks these signal amplifying instruments.

The other problem with keyless entry is I am never sure if the car is locked or not.

I can push a button to lock the doors, but when I go to check that the doors are in fact locked, they open because the Fob is too close.  I am a bit OCD, and always check the doors just to confirm they are locked.

Confirming the door is locked reminds me of Garrison Keeler describing a parade where everyone wore hats that made up an American Flag when viewed from above.  When the parade marchers passed a screen displaying the hat-formation flag, everyone looked up and the hat flag disappeared.

There are a few other new car things that will take me a while to master, hopefully I will catch on before I lose my extremely limited patience.

I do love new technology, but I also miss the simplicity of roll up windows, one speed wipers, keys, and on/off switches.  I even miss that floor button to turn your high beams on or off, but that was replaced before Reagan was President.

Friday, July 27, 2018



Do you really care about the ingredients in products?  I guess I do a little, but I assume that the FDA and other government watchdogs will protect me.  Then there is the legal system.  Manufacturers need to protect themselves from lawsuits, so I assume most products are safe.

Yes, I may be an idiot, but there is enough in life to worry about, I’m not worrying about product ingredients.  GMO food?  Screw it, maybe I could use an extra limb or an eleventh toe.  Gluten?  It was not an issue for 70 years, I’m not going to make it an issue for me now. 

I do get it; many people are lactose intolerant and it is good to know if that dessert has dairy or not.  Gluten affects many people, and nut allergies are common.  It is just that these things do not affect me, so yeah, I don’t care.

I do get a kick out of products that advertise special ingredients like they are scientifically proven to be super-duper.

There is a yogurt that pushes its product as one that will help regulate your bowel movements.  The special ingredient that does this is…drum roll please…BIFIDUS REGULARIS! 

Why not just name it POOPULUS TIMLINESS?  Is there really an ingredient that some scientist decided to name bifidous regularis because it makes your movements regular?  I don’t think so.

There is a product that removes the bags from under your eyes.  What is the ingredient that takes the bags from under your eyes that this product proudly touts? 

“Its silicates from shale.”

Well now, silicates from shale, of course that would take bags from your eyes.  Like some scientist thought, “I wonder what might take the bags from under one’s eyes…I’ll bet silicates from shale would do the trick…Yeah that should do it!”

What else did they try before they decided silicates from shale would work?  Dog doo?  Slime from clams? Gook from lobster livers?  No, I think silicates from shale should be just the thing to remove bags from under your eyes…sign me up!

Here is the one that really gets my attention.  If you are having memory problems there is a product that can help.  What is the special ingredient that improves your memory?  Enzymes from jellyfish! 

Well that makes sense.  If you are having trouble remembering things, why not supplement your brain with enzymes from the dumbest, most unthinking animal on the planet…JELLYFISH!

And yet, people buy this crap!

Lately my golf game sucks.  I just can’t cure a nasty slice.  There is a new golfing energy drink that claims to have the ingredient, “Endus sliculitus!”

It has to be worth a try.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Stuff Old People Do

Stuff Old People Do

When I was younger I often was amazed at the things old people do.  I vowed to avoid these embarrassing old people things.

Old people start conversations with:

“Ten dollars?  I remember when they only cost fifty cents.”

Cut it out old people, no one really cares, and I remember when you had to babysit for an hour to get fifty cents.

“There used to be a candy store on this block before the McDonalds.”

And before the candy store there used to be teepees!  Who cares!

“In my day, people waited to be married before getting intimate.”

In your day people got married at 17 because they couldn’t wait.

“Years ago, we didn’t just get a divorce when things got difficult.”

Congratulations on being miserable for the rest of your life “in the day.”

Old people do embarrassing things at weddings:

When ever the DJ plays the “Twist” old people have to show young people “How it’s done.”

The twist is not really that complicated…unless you are an old people which is why old people should not show young people “How its done.”

Old people do not realize that “The Chicken Dance” is not cool.  The DJ plays it so young people can make fun of old people.

When the DJ plays “The Village People,” old people have to spell out Y M C A.  This is great fun for old people who then tell young people, “Do you know that ‘The Village People’ were gay?”

Other embarrassing things old people do

Old people are loud talkers.

Old people are always cold.

Old people use all of the road.

Old people pay to the penny, rounding up is wasteful.
Old people try to act like  young people.

“But Cranky, your old, you mean you are not guilty of any of these ‘old people’ things?”

Actually, I am guilty of most of these ‘Old People’ things, but I also have the number one old people trait:

Old People don’t give a crap about what young people think!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Farmer Cranky

Farmer Cranky
I am so proud!
What is it about a backyard garden?  Why do people waste their time and money trying to grow vegetables?

Professionals grow bigger better cheaper vegetables than most amateur gardeners can grow.

Still, farmer Cranky loves his tomato plants.  I check them out every morning, pinch out those unproductive shoots, tie them up as needed, and tickle the flowers.

To date I have spent about $12 on my tomato plants, an investment which so far with three tomatoes might not be considered a successful venture.  Four dollars a tomato is not a very good investment.  Of course, with any luck, by the seasons end, I may have a big enough crop to cut that per tomato cost to about 50 cents a tomato…except I only eat one or two tomatoes a week and I am not about to preserve the excess.

So, clearly growing tomatoes in my “yard” has no monetary incentive.  I think it is something deep in our DNA that makes it so satisfying to grow your own food.  It is the reason people hunt and fish recreationally.

I have no real property in our town home, so my plants, all five, are grown in a pot,

an upside-down thing,
Fun idea, but not real productive

and two on a bit of ground I have claimed as my own. 

I have been doing this for three years now and I have learned much about farming.

The first year, rabbits attacked my new planted tomatoes.  The internet showed me that sticking plastic forks next to the plants keeps the rabbits away.  It sounds really stupid, but it works.

I learned that tomatoes need water, but too much water gives the fruit bottom-rot so I now only make sure they get a short sprinkle if we have had no rain.

I learned that to get fruit you need to jiggle the flowers as tomatoes "self- pollinate."

I learned to call it "jiggling the flowers" and not "jerking off my tomatoes" when in polite company.

I add fertilizer at planting and when they start to pop fruit.  Too much fertilizer is not good.

Squirrels will steal a tomato right off the plant.  Take one unripe tomato and leave it on the ground for the squirrels…they really don’t like them very much but you have to give one up to teach them.

If you grow them they will come.  They, are tomato worms, real ugly green things.  How they find my random plants is a mystery of nature.

Stores advertise “vine ripened” tomatoes.  I found that vine ripening tends to leave them at risk of varmints and they tend to split in an unappetizing way.  I pick them as soon as they start to change color and put them in a paper bag to continue the ripening process.  I put them in a bag because the internet told me to…it was right on the rabbit/fork thing, so I follow its suggestions.

At the beginning of this post I claimed professional farmers grow bigger and better tomatoes than amateurs.  Actually, the tomatoes you find at the supermarket are bigger, redder and prettier, but they do not have the same flavor.  The tomato flavor in store-bought is not as intense.

A friend of mine who is smart, says the store-bought are genetically modified to look pretty but they don’t have the same taste.  They are currently trying to genetically modify the taste back in the tomato.  Until that happens, my tomatoes beat the heck out of supermarket tomatoes in the taste department.

I’ve heard the government sometimes pays farmers to NOT grow certain crops.

I wonder if next year I could have the government pay me to not grow my tomatoes…nope, not going to even try, I need to grow my own, it is in my DNA. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Umbrella Danger

Umbrella Danger (a Cranky rant)

Start of rant:

I have long been a beach umbrella nut.  Beach umbrellas are dangerous.

Why am I a beach umbrella nut?  Why are they dangerous?

Most beach umbrellas have a very pointy aluminum end used to stick the umbrella in the sand.

Sand is very loose.  Aluminum does not stick to sand.  It is windy by the ocean.  The beach is by the ocean.  Umbrellas tend to catch the wind.  When an umbrella catches the wind the pointy aluminum end pulls out of the loose sand and flies down the beach which is generally as crowded as those seal beaches on an Animal Planet TV special.

Flying pointed aluminum shaft on a crowded beach…see the problem?

I have seen this event several times and no one was hurt.  It was laughed off as a joke, or a scary thrill.  People could not even fathom how it could happen.

In the last week, two people on east coast beaches have been skewered by flying pointy aluminum shafts.  They were seriously hurt, but fortunately not killed.

Comments at the end of news reports on these accidents tended to make a joke about the problem.  You know, those stupid comments at the end of almost every news story these days.

“I guess we need government beach umbrella control legislation!”

“Just one more stupid thing to be afraid of!”

“This would not have happened if Hillary won.”

Truth is, there should be either legislation, or people should be made legally responsible for there umbrellas.  If people thought there was any chance at all of losing your beach house, your shirt, or both, perhaps they would be more responsible for their beach umbrellas.

Two things that would eliminate beach umbrella skewering.

1.    They sell beach umbrella anchors that hold umbrellas in the sand against almost any wind.  Cheap plastic anchors cost about $3 and they work very well.  For $15 you can buy anchors that will not break.  Buy and use them!
Cheap anchors

Even Better

2.    If you are leaving your spot on the sand for what ever reason or for anytime at all, close the damn umbrella!

3.    Post signs at the beach reminding people that umbrellas can be dangerous, people are legally responsible for the pointy end of their umbrella, and the steps 1 and 2 from above that will make everyone’s beach experience safe.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Street Cleaners

Street Cleaners

I was driving home from playing golf today and two blocks away there was a dust storm such that I could not see my upcoming turn.  It was a clear day with almost no wind.


As I got closer to the storm I could see it was caused by one of those stupid sweepy street cleaner machines.

What is it with those machines?  Why do we need them?  They only brush dirt and dust to the curb where the physics of fast moving cars will just suck the dirt and dust back to the middle of the street.

Know what will clean the street faster and better than a street cleaner?  Rain! One good thunder storm and street is clean.  Dirt and dust is down the drain.

Why is my good tax money going to waste having my street periodically buffed?  That big old machine must cost a pretty penny, and the driver could probably be doing something more constructive than moving dirt and dust around.

Street cleaners used to be pretty important I am told.  Back in the day it was not so automated.  A dude with a broom and a large dustpan would clean the streets. 

What was he cleaning?  Not dirt and dust, hell most of the streets were made of dirt and dust. 

He was cleaning up horse shit.

That is how people got around when we needed street cleaners.  By horse…horses that shit…a lot.  Street cleaners were pretty important.

I don’t know if my town administrators are aware of the fact that most people today get around by car, bike or foot.  Almost no one, make that absolutely no one in my town rides a horse. 

Never mind the street, clean out my stupid local politicians.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

E-Z Pass

E-Z Pass

Mrs. C and I both have an E-Z Pass, that thing on your windshield that lets you rip through highway tolls and the toll is charged to your account.  It is convenient, and it is a little bit cheaper than paying at the toll booth.  We don’t use toll roads that often, but on some bridges, they now only take E-Z Pass, or take a picture of your license plate and send you a bill.  Getting and paying a bill that way is annoying so we got the E-Z Pass contraptions.

I keep my E-Z Pass on the windshield so it is always there when I need it.  Mrs. C keeps hers in the house.

The other day we were using a toll road.

“Crap, I forgot the E-Z Pass.”

“This is not the first time, why don’t you keep it on the windshield like the other 2 kajillion people that use E-Z Pass?”


“Because why?”

“You will make fun of me if I tell.”

“No I won’t.”

“I don’t want anyone to break in to the car and steal it.”

“What? Who is going to break into a car and steal the E-Z Pass thing?  Why not just take the car? And what are they going to do, get free tolls?  The E-Z pass will track where they go?”  In the humpty-diddle years that E-Z Pass has been around I have never heard of anyone breaking into a car and stealing the E-Z Pass thing. That is just stupid!”

“See, that is why I didn’t want to tell you.”

“Why not just keep it in the glove box so no one knows you have it, but it is there if you need it.”


“Because why?”

“You will make fun of me if I tell.”

“No I won’t.”

“If it is in the glove box I might drive close to a toll booth and be accidently charged a toll I didn’t use.

“What?”  In the humpty-diddle years that E-Z Pass has been around I have never heard of anyone ever being accidentally charged a toll like that.”

“People don’t know, they don’t always check their statement.”

“That is ridiculous.”

“You’re a jerk.”

“I’m a jerk?”

“If the E-Z Jerk fits, stick it on the windshield.”

“That doesn’t even make any sense.”

“Maybe not, but you’re still a jerk.”

Monday, July 16, 2018

Politics (my last word)

Politics (my last word)

A quick reminder.

I enjoy political discussions.  I have often had fair and productive political conversations.  I do not believe any minds were changed, but I do believe we agreed that vindictive snarky comments about another’s preference is a worthless and infantile thing to do.

I have found that the internet in general and a blog in particular is a very poor venue for political discourse.  I’m not sure why, but it just is.  I think it is the missing facial expressions and body language that often might soften a comment which is not possible on this new medium.

Anyway, it is why I have as my header:

I intend for this blog to be non-political. If I offer a political statement, rebuttals are permitted, however this blog is not for the unsolicited political opinions of others and as such those comments will be deleted and not published. Thank you.

Recently a disparaging comment was left by a blogger friend about our President.  As the post had zero political connection, I considered this comment out of place and deleted it and unfollowed the other blogger.

Thankfully for me, this person apologized and I re-followed…we’re good!  I have already lost several followers and quit following because of the political animosity that threatens this world. 

It upsets me that I would be afraid of being attacked verbally and or physically if I was to wear a MAGA hat in public, and how the same might apply if I wore an “I’m With Her” shirt. 

The real danger in this country is the atmosphere of unrest and pure venom the fault of which lies on both political sides.  I will not allow this blog to be a part of that hatred.

If you choose to make an unsolicited political comment denigrating any political side, you might as well just say, “Fuck You Cranky” and I will react in kind by deleting and unfriending.

Thank you, and may God bless everyone!

Since I don't know how to turn off comments on a specific post, all comments on this post will be unread and unpublished.

Saturday, July 14, 2018



I can sometimes be easily annoyed…maybe that is why Mrs. C calls me “Cranky.”  Somethings I should let slide, but they just stick in my craw.

We are staying three weeks in a small apt. off a garage, under the main house, just off the beach.  It is not fancy, but it is still a sweet deal.  Next door to our place is a gigantic multi-million-dollar humongous house on the beach with multiple views of the ocean.  The owner of this home is very wealthy.  He has everything, including a large belly and the biggest head on the beach.

Apparently, his shit has no odor.  I call him Butthead.  That is not a term of endearment.

Butthead’s house is about four yards from our place.  He has several downspout water diverters.  He could point the diverters toward the street.  He points them directly at our house.  Periodically I readjust them.  He points them back to our place. 


Four times in the last two years he has parked his car in our driveway and directly behind our cars such that if we wanted, we could not get out.  He has a driveway that can park about 10 cars.  When I tracked him down the first time to move and not block us in, he did apologize and say he was only going to be there for a minute because he was expecting a work truck to come to his driveway soon.  No problem, but why does he think it is ok to inconvenience me so he would not be inconvenienced? 


In my whole life I have not once blocked another person’s driveway.  Four times in two years…Butthead!

Yesterday he was having some kind of sale for a charity (what a hero…with all his money, just write a check!)  Where was his stand holding the sale goods?  In front of his driveway? Why no, it was blocking our car.
Dickhead's driveway just to the right


I had to make him move so I could go to the store that I really didn’t want to go to.


At the end of our block right in front of Butthead's house but not his driveway, are racks for bicycles.  I have never seen a bicycle block his driveway.  If there was, bicycles are pretty easy to move.

Today I noticed Butthead had a large chalk circle drawn in front of his driveway with large chalk instructions in the circle, “DO not block driveway with a bicycle…EVER.”
OK, it said no bikes TY...the "ever" part is small and not seen in this picture.

So, this Butthead can block my car in with his giant SUV whenever it happens to be convenient for him, but to make sure an eight-year-old doesn’t leave a bike at the end of his driveway he leaves a message on the street.


Friday, July 13, 2018


OK, it was not quite this disgusting...but close.

 If you are easily disgusted, just move on, I’ll understand.

We have one shower in our shore house rental.  It gets used a lot by Mrs. C, myself and guests.

For the past few weeks, whenever I take a shower I notice there are two bars of soap.  One white bar of soap is covered with hair.  I guess it could be my hair, I don't think so, but I don’t know for sure.  I generally soap up with my hands and the soap bar does not make actual body contact so I do not think it is my hair.

I have assumed the hairy soap was from someone else, possibly a previous renter. 

I use the hairless bar of soap.  After many showers, the hairless bar was getting down to a nub and I realized that Mrs. C must assume the hairy soap was mine. 

“Just so you know, the hairy bar of soap in the shower is not mine.  It was either Sasquatch, or the ghost of Robin Williams that last used that soap.”

“Oh, thank God, I assumed it was you.  That soap is disgusting!”

“I know!  Do you think I could toss it out because I am not using it…ever.”

Mrs. C as I may have mentioned in previous posts does not like waste or I would have thrown that bar away long ago.

“OMG, please.  I don’t even like it staring at me when I shower.”

We now have a brand new clean hairless bar of soap in the shower.

How Sasquatch snuck in our shower and defiled that other bar of soap remains a mystery.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Stale Cereal

Stale Cereal

Mrs. C does not like to throw things away.  She does not like to waste food.  Several years ago, youngest son Spencer stopped eating cereal when he visited.  Neither Mrs. C or I have touched cereal since... forever.

Packing up for the Shore this year, Mrs. C. took a box of Fruit Loops from the cupboard.

“Don’t bring that crap, you should probably chuck it out, no one eats cereal.”

“Cole and Conor might, if not, then I will throw it away.”

Several days after we were at the Shore, my son and his children visited.  We got up in the morning to go fishing for flounder on the Norma K out of Point Pleasant, N.J.

My son poured a bowl of the cereal.

“Akkkk, gag, urp, yuck, spit, spit, spit.  Yeoow! What is this crap? How old is it?”

“Did you eat the cereal?”

“Yes, it is awful! Holy Crap, the best by date is 12/09.”

“Yeah, you probably should not eat that…Nona (Mrs. C.) thought it would be ok.”

“I think I might throw up!”


Matt recovered and we went fishing.

The fishing was not very good.  I caught some garbage fish, Matt caught nothing, but the boys, always good patient fisherboys caught some seabass, and Cole caught a nice flounder.
Conor with a seabass

Poor fishing, but a good boat ride and a fun day.

Later in the day Matt posted on Facebook some pictures of the fish his boys caught.

Mrs. C’s friend, Brenda who had been on the beach with Mrs. C heard the story about the bad cereal.

She commented on Matts post, “Nice fish, what did you use for bait…cereal?”

Matt almost got sick and missed the fishing trip because of the old cereal, but at least with Brenda’s comment we got a good laugh.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Supermarket Hide and Seek

Supermarket Hide and Seek

Thank God for cell phones.  Without them I would still be caught up in a game of supermarket hide and seek with Mrs. C. 

Oh, don’t act like you don’t know what I am taking about.  If you have ever shopped with someone at a supermarket, or especially if you have children, you have played supermarket hide and seek.

“I’m going to the courtesy desk to see if they have cigars.”

“Ok, I‘ll be in the ice cream section looking for toasted almonds.”

After purchasing some cigars I went hunting for Mrs. C.

What could go wrong?  How could you get lost?


Each of us on one side of the supermarket, looking down the aisles, somehow you never are looking down the same aisle at the same time.  Cross an aisle to the other side of the supermarket and of course, Mrs. C has done the same.

Up and down the aisles…crossing over to the front and then back of the supermarket there is a law of probability that says you will never make eye contact.  You might see the same lady with the annoying three-year-old about seventeen times, or the old dude with the gigantic beer belly multiple times, but you will not see or cross paths with the person you are looking for.

“Siri, call Karen.”

“Calling Karen.”

B-ring, b-ring “Hello.”

“What aisle?”

“Ten by the tuna fish.”

“Don’t move.”

If it were not for cell phones we would be lost until closing time.