NEW AND IMPROVED

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

Friday, December 6, 2019

IF Your Toilet is Running Do you Have To Catch It?


IF Your Toilet is Running Do you Have To Catch It?

“Joseph!”

“What?” When I am called by my proper name it is never a good thing.

“The toilet is running”

“It will stop, it always takes a long time to fill up.”

“You need to jiggle it.”

“It will stop.”

“It’s been running for five minutes.”

“OK, I’ll jiggle it.”

This friggin toilet in our guest bathroom takes forever to fill.  Sometimes it just keeps running, and you have to jiggle the handle to make it stop. 

Now I know some readers are going to offer suggestions on how to fix this.  Knock yourself out, they don’t work.  I’ve tried all the fixes.  They don’t work.  Well I may think they work for a while, but it is an intermittent issue.

Jiggling the handle immediately after flushing does not work.  You have to jiggle only after it is apparent the tank will not fill to the shutoff level.

Yes, we’ve tried that…doesn’t work.  I told you we’ve tried everything.

Now after every flush I have to hang around for about three minutes.  If it doesn’t stop running, I jiggle the handle.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to jiggle and before I touch the handle the tank is filled and the running stops.

This makes me figure I have to let it run longer.  That is when I get the “Joseph!” call from Mrs. C.

We did that also… I told you we’ve tried everything. Why do some readers have to try and solve every problem?

I think I waste about an hour a week of my life waiting to see if I have to jiggle that stupid handle or not.

What...why not just use a different toilet, don’t you have more than one? 

Ok, now that is a good suggestion!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Is The Internet Watching?


Is The Internet Watching?
Have you ever made a comment about something, a car, a restaurant, a TV, or whatever and minutes later an ad appears on your PC for that very item?

Of course, you have.  It happens all the time.  How does Google, Facebook or whatever know what ad to prod you with, how do they know what you are interested in?

Spooky isn’t it.  Mrs. C thinks they are tapped into our PC’s.  They see us through the camera and hear through the PC mike.  I thought she was crazy, now I am not so sure.

Just the other day while I was playing solitaire on the PC, out of the blue came an ad that was just uncanny.

How do they know, how did any weird algorithm figure out this item that I have been coveting for some time?  The ad did not pop up just once, it appears every time I start up a new game.  They know something I’m telling you!

A brand-new Volvo,  it looks like a beauty, and just what I need.  This ad is so tempting I want to go and buy it tomorrow.  Problem is the price.  Well they didn’t specify the cost, but this beauty could not come cheap.

I guess I could apply for a loan and pay it off over time, but Mrs. C thinks the HOA might not allow a brand-new Volvo High Power Excavator parked in front of our unit.


Just what I've always wanted.  How did the internet know?
Damn…it sure looks great in the advertisement. With it I could plant my tomatoes next year in style!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Mystery Solved


Mystery Solved
I have many sets of glasses for driving and watching TV.  I can get around without these glasses, but they do make vision at distances over eight feet more comfortable.  I also have three pairs of readers.  I don’t need them except for really small print.  Since I spend so much time without needing glasses, I leave a pair of both kinds on each floor of the house, so I always have them handy when I do need them.

Yesterday I could not find one pair of the distance glasses.

“I can’t believe I am missing a pair of glasses.”

“Could you have left them somewhere outside the house?”

“No, I wore them bowling and driving home.  I would miss them driving so I know I had them.  They have to be in the house.”

“Did you check all the bathrooms, sometimes you leave them there?”

“Yup.”

“The car.”

“No way, I always wear them into the house.”

“They’ll turn up somewhere.”

“If they are missing, it must be your fault.”

“Why my fault?”

“Because I can’t blame myself, isn’t that what wives are for…blame?”

“You’re a jerk!”

“Wait.  When I was bowling, you called and said for me to call you at work when I got home.  Then I called and you wanted me to give you some information on size and model of your workout sneakers.”

“Yes…so?”

“So I had to get my readers to see the information on the inside of your shoe.”

“Yes…so?”

“So I had to take off my regular glasses and get the readers.  I called you from the front door.  I must have taken the glasses and put them somewhere by the door.  See, it was your fault”

“Why was that my fault.”

“You distracted me.  You know I can’t change my routines.”

“Just go see if that is where you left your glasses.

I went to the front door and did not find them.  Then I went over to where her sneaker was.  I found the glasses.  If I hadn’t been able to backtrack my movements, I would not have found these glasses for months.

They were on a living room chair, a chair that we never sit on.

If I really needed glasses, I would not have found these.





Monday, December 2, 2019

Best in Show…REALLY?


Best in Show…REALLY?


I love The Dog Show.   By “The” dog show I guess I mean the Westminster Dog Show, that seems to be the big one, but there are many dog shows.  People love their dogs, they love to show their dogs. I love watching them show their dogs.

I do have a beef with these shows.  The choice of “Best in Show.”

If I understand it correctly the dogs compete in various categories.  The winners of those categories then compete for the best dog in the show.

To me, every dog in these shows is beautiful in its own way.  The best of breed is picked as the dog that most meets the requirements of that particular breed.  The best of breeds then compete in their own group category, for instance “Herding Group” or “Sporting Group.” Finally, the best in groups compete for best in show.

The best in show is usually the most poofy, fluffy, dandy of a sissy dog, or one of the ugliest breeds known to the vast dog world.

Poodles, Bichon Frises, Papillons and Pekinese are always in the running.  Terriers are loved by the judges for their coats and regal tail in the air trot.  The judges love these fluffy brushed out fancy dogs.

Every once in a while, to deflect from the fluffy dog image, the winner is a Bloodhound, a Pincher, or even a Deerhound.  Nice dogs, but come on, they are not attractive dogs, they are a bit ugly and almost no one actually owns one of these breeds unless they are tracking escaped convicts, deer, or who knows what a pincher is good for.  Occasionally the judges choose an ugly dog as proof that they judge based on breed perfection, not just “pretty Dogs.”

The other day, the best in show winner of a National Dog Show was a Bulldog.  Now I love bulldogs.  They are lovable big mushes of a breed, but really…What are the requirements of a bulldog? Bowlegs? Slobbery smushed in face? Crooked jaw with bottom teeth sticking out?

I love bulldogs, but they should never be BEST in any show!

Meanwhile, the most popular dog breed in this country for the last forty years are the Labrador and Golden Retrievers.

These are beautiful, playful, working dogs.  Great with children and families and hunting dogs to boot.  A Golden or a Lab has not won best in show in any major dog show EVER!

The most popular dog breeds in the country for like FOREVER has not once won a beauty contest which is the most subjective contest in the world.  There is no talent portion, no political question asked, no parading in a fancy collar, just trot around a circle and don’t bite the judge. 

Not one Lab or Golden has ever won? Ridiculous.

The Labrador and Golden Retrievers are the Susan Lucci’s of dog shows.  I’ve had it.  Until one of these great breeds wins Best in Show, I am done with the Dog Show. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

THE DRIVE-IN

THE DRIVE-IN
 When I was a young lad with a newly acquired driver’s license the place to go was the drive-in.   In New Jersey there were drive-ins a-plenty.  Within a ten mile radius of my home there were three drive-ins. 

The Amboy drive-in’s giant screen was highly visible from the northbound Garden State Parkway when approaching the Driscoll Bridge.  In the 70’s the Amboy Theater occasionally showed X rated movies.  I don’t recall any accidents, but traffic over the bridge often backed up during certain scenes.

Generally the drive-ins showed two movies, one would be a crappy Annette Funicello "Beach Something" movie, the other would be a seriously crappy movie.


We didn’t go to the drive-in for the movies, we went there for the freedom to be kids; kids in our own cars without rules.  There was no one to shush us, no one to tell us that we couldn’t smoke, couldn’t sneak in some rum and coke, or couldn’t just ignore the screen and make out with your date.  


The seven words that would ruin any Saturday night were, “Why don’t we just watch the movie?”


My first drive-in experience was with my parents and brothers at about the age of five, “Gone with the Wind.” I fell asleep after an amputation scene.  I’m pretty sure that scene ruined any chance of my ever becoming a surgeon. 


Years later I entered the drive-in from hiding in the trunk of a car to avoid paying for a ticket.  I don’t think the theaters minded, regardless of how many people were in a car, the car only took up one space…more kids meant more popcorn sold.   We thought we were beating “The Man,” and the owners sold extra bags of 2 cent popcorn for 25 cents.  Now that was a “win-win.”


Later, the drive-in became the venue of choice for getting close with your best girl.  A lot of action went on during those crappy movies, but I never came close to needing that precaution I bought from Billy Hopkins for a dollar.  It remained in my wallet leaving a telltale ring which told all your friends, “Yeah, I’m prepared…just in case.”


My last trip to the drive-in came when my first born was still a baby.  What money we saved by not needing a baby-sitter,  we paid in frustration because that little dickens cried during the whole show. 

I think there are still a few drive-ins left, but they are clearly not long for this world.  Movie theaters in general may not last verses the competition of DVD’s, Netflix, and paid TV; drive-ins do not stand a chance as real estate becomes more valuable. 
I guess the drive-in’s time is past.  Hell, you can park anywhere and watch the latest movie on your i-phone.  There is no need to sneak in anywhere when it is free on the internet, and the internet doesn’t know who you are or where you are.  Want to get away with your best girl?  Apparently there is no longer a need for any “movie” pretense.

I pretty much experienced the circle of life at the drive-in theater. 


I saw my first movie at a drive-in.  I thumbed my nose at “the man” for the first time by hiding in a trunk and sneaking in to the drive-in.  I smoked my first cigarette at the drive-in and drank too much booze for the first time at the drive-in.   I experienced my first outside boobage at the drive-in, and I tried to rock my first baby to sleep at a drive-in.
Good-by drive-in theaters.  We just do not need you anymore.

Still I am glad you were around when I was growing up.
re-run from December 2013     

Friday, November 29, 2019

The Seventeen Dollar Clock-Radio


The Seventeen Dollar Clock-Radio

I Just watched an episode of “Leave it to Beaver” (maybe the best sit-com ever) where Ward gave “The Beaver” a clock-radio.

“Oh man, I remember when I was seven, I got a clock-radio.  It cost seventeen dollars.”

“How do you remember what it cost?”

“I don’t know, for some reason in those days you said the price for nice stuff.  You wouldn’t say ‘I got a clock-radio for my birthday,’ you would say, ‘I got a seventeen-dollar clock-radio for my birthday.’ I guess it was a way to brag to your friends.”

Anyway, at the end of the show, Ward commented, “I think it was worth spending the $16.95 to make the Beaver happy.”

“See. I told you; seventeen dollars!”

I loved that radio.  I grew up with an 11-inch TV in the living room and watching whatever my parents allowed me to watch up until maybe nine o’clock.  With my radio I could listen and fall asleep to some of the old great radio that I missed out on because of growing up with TV.

I don’t think there were shows on every night, it was probably mostly on Saturday or Sunday, but on KFI Las Angeles I would listen to “The Lone Ranger,” “The Shadow,” or “The Jack Benny Show.”

These were shows that were now also on TV (Maybe not ‘The Shadow’) but were much more fun to listen to after 9 o’clock, under the covers and without parental consent, than they were to watch on TV.

Those old radio shows were a novelty to me, but old hat to the rest of the world.  They stopped producing them around 1954 or 55.

There was something captivating about how they could paint a picture with words and sound effects on those shows. 

I would have completely missed out on that special creativity if not for my Seventeen-Dollar Clock-Radio.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Early Thanksgiving


Early Thanksgiving



It is turkey time.  By the time I post this, my Thanksgiving will be over.  Due to logistics, to get the most relatives possible to the table, we do the holiday the weekend before.  This year it was Saturday in the late afternoon to accommodate several guests who are hairdressers.  The weekend before Thanksgiving is apparently a very busy weekend for hairdressers.

Thursday it was my job to buy the bird.  We need about 22 pounds to feed a large crew and still have enough to send everyone home with “a plate” ( It’s an Italian thing.)  The bird cost $40, but with $400 worth or grocery purchases in the month you get a free, or discounted turkey.

After all our shopping this month,  I was still short $40 of the $400.  I started grabbing high cost items.  Soap, Advil, Pistachio nuts, and other items that have a long shelf life.  Just made it.  For an extra $40 of groceries I got a $40 bird for $10!  I felt like those crazy coupon people on a TV show where they buy $1000 worth of stuff and after cashing their double coupons only have to pay 17 cents.

Half of Friday was spent cleaning the house and helping Mrs. C make the stuffing, which also has to be enough to send some home with guests. 

Mrs. C makes the best stuffing ever.  Her recipe:

1. Take one giant load of sausage, heat until brown and stir and break up until your arms hurt. 

2.  Fine chop a ton of celery, mushrooms, and green peppers.

3.  Fold the celery, mushroom, peppers into the broken-up sausage.

4.  Add dry bread crumbs until Mrs. C says stop, then mix everything with a couple of eggs.

5.  Add chicken broth until Mrs. C says stop.

6.  Add a bit more crumbs, broth, and or eggs as Mrs. C sees fit based on how it feels when she stirs it all up.

7.  Put some of the mixture in separate pans for guests to take home and refrigerate.

8.  Next day cook in oven for about an hour.

9.  Pile it on your plate with turkey, bean casserole, carrots, mashed potatoes, Waldorf salad (a WASP touch to an Italian feast) cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes.

10.  Wash down with wine, undo belt buckle, and digest for a half hour before coffee and choice of several pies.

When the real Thanksgiving comes around, we relax.

Monday, November 25, 2019

WASP* SALAD

WASP* SALAD
 
As some of you may know, I love, love, love TV.  I am not ashamed of loving TV.  I watch everything on TV, except for PBS.  Well I even watch some shows on PBS, but I am not one of those TV snobs,

“Oh I hardly ever watch TV and when I do I only watch PBS.”


I watch everything except “Honey Boo Boo,” “Revenge” (a Friggin whisper-fest) and “Once Upon a Time” (In a plot jam? Wave a wand and presto; shit happens and there is a new plot…Yeech!)


My favorites are cooking shows.  I watch “How to’s” and Cooking Contests.  I even watch “Rachel Ray.”


I have learned a lot from these shows, and I do like to cook.  Several things about most cooking shows do annoy me.


Everything is quick and easy. 
Yeah, after someone else has already chopped everything, measured everything and sautéed everything.  All you have to do is dump it into a $500 mixer, turn it on, pour it into a pan, put it into the oven and at the same time pull an already perfectly cooked batch out of the blue.


I also hate how they tell you what you can do if you want to.


“I like to add Sicilian olives soaked in Brazilian tomatoes for three weeks with some Himalayan salt and Portuguese pepper, but you can just use any canned olives if you want.”


Why thank you!  I can also add raisins and a pint of vodka if I want.  I don’t really need you to announce the rules!  Anyway, maybe it’s just me.


The last thing I hate is the audience reaction every time garlic, hot peppers or booze is added to a concoction.  They go crazy with applause and laughter and oohs and ahhs.  “Ooh wine! I drink wine!  I’m a lush! Ooh ooh!”


Just stop it! Most of these people have eggnog on Christmas Eve and think that is a big deal.  Besides, the alcohol is all burned off anyway.  Damn! Anyway, maybe it’s just me.


Oh, I missed this last thing I hate about these shows; “The Taste Test.”


EVERYTHING IS TO FRIGGIN DIE FOR!  The yumm’s the wows, the foodgasms over everything from fried kale to cheesy French fries.


Anyway, perhaps that is just I.


Oh yeah, this post, WASP SALAD.


With Thanksgiving coming up I am offering my favorite Thanksgiving recipe, WASP SALAD.


WASP Salad is really just Waldorf salad, but my  Irish former in-laws called it WASP SALAD.  I never thought of it as being “Ethnic” food. To me “Ethnic” food is anything that is not grilled or boiled, or that ends in a vowel.  My Irish in-laws  loved my WASP SALAD.  At least they claimed they did, but we always had a lot of left-over’s so maybe not. 


Who cares, I love it and here is my recipe:


WASP SALAD


Take four apples and cut into small 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes.  (You can cut in different size cubes if you want.) I like red crunchy sweet apples (you can use soft green crappy apples if you want.)


Wait, you know what?  No you can’t!  Make it exactly like I say, or don’t make it at all!  Called it German WASP SALAD.


Coat all the apple chunks in lemon juice.  Why?  Because I said so**!


Take several stalks of fresh celery and chop into small, but not fine, bits.


Of course wash it first…damn do I have to explain everything?


Add the celery to the apple chunks and then mix in chopped walnuts and raisins. How many? I prefer just the right amount.


Here comes the part that creeps out non-WASPS.  Add mayonnaise to this mixture.  You can use any mayonnaise you like, but in case there is a WASP at the table, tell them you used Hellman’s.  WASPS think there is a difference; don’t upset them.  Mix the mayonnaise until everything is covered with a fine film, and then add more mayonnaise.  Keep adding mayonnaise until it starts to look disgusting, then stop.


Chill, serve with the turkey, and enjoy watching the Lions get their ass kicked on TV. 


WASP salad is also excellent with left-over turkey sandwiches the next day.

*White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestants.
**Lemon juice keeps the apples from turning brown

Re-run from November 2014

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Nit Picking


Nit Picking

I hate nit picking.  Rules that do not insure anything other than every once in a while someone will get screwed for a mistake or slip up that has nothing to do with anything.  A sip up that costs the person EVERYTHING!

For instance, in golf years ago a professional signed his score card after finishing the final hole in first place in a big tournament.  It turns out he signed the card incorrectly.  The final score was correct, but the score on one hole had been marked incorrectly.  Everyone knew the correct score.  The scores for every golfer were all on a giant scoreboard at the venue.  The event was televised and every fan watching knew the score.  This golfer, Roberto DeVencenso I believe, won the tournament, but because his score card was incorrect and he signed it, he was disqualified.

Nit Picking!

A rule probably established 100 years before TV and giant scoreboards cost him the tournament.  Not a shot out of bounds, a missed putt or a course hazard…a stupid meaningless nit picking rule.

Schools today have a no exception policy toward sexual harassment and weapons in school.  So a five year old gets suspended for hugging a little girl and a six year old gets suspended for making a noise while pointing his finger gun like.

Nit picking.

Just the other day a game-show contestant lost a lot of money because of nit picking.  In this word game the contestant has to guess the words in a puzzle before all the letters are filled in.  If he states the words incorrectly he loses a turn.  In this puzzle the answer for four words were:

Dog/Cat/ Mouse/ Frog (not the actual words).  

Before solving the hosts always warns, “Just the words, don’t add anything.”
At least several times a year a contestant will solve “Dog, Cat, Mouse, AND Frog.”

He is disqualified for adding “AND”.  Yes he is warned, yes he should know better, but adding AND is just a natural way of communicating.

Nit picking…and stupid.

Another show requires an answer be in the form of a question.  Many contestants have lost for responding “George Washington” instead of Who is George Washington.”

Nit picking and stupid!

I know, a rule is a rule and the line has to be drawn somewhere, but every once and a while common sense should prevail.

Just as you might not be able to define pornography, but you know it when you see it; I can’t say where to draw the line at all times, but I know nit picking when I see it.  

Friday, November 22, 2019

I’m Too Old For A Pop Quiz


I’m Too Old For A Pop Quiz




Does any one remember the Pop Quiz?  I always dreaded the high school pop quiz.  The smart kids loved them; another chance to show off and prove that they did all the assigned work.  Some of us hated them because we needed a warning before we decided to do the required assignments. 

The mere mention of “Pop quiz” and panic set in, even if I knew the material.

As I recall the pop quiz was usually sprung as punishment for a class that was goofing off and misbehaving.  In the olden days, we were “bad” in class when we made jokes, giggled, passed notes…that sort of stuff.  We almost never brought guns to school and killed people.

Anyway, the pop quiz; I hated them.

Today I got another pop quiz and I was behaving myself so I don’t know why.

I had to pick up a prescription at the drug store.  Usually they ask for your name and birth date.  My pharmacy has been taken over by a new company and they have different procedures.

I gave my name and was all prepared with my birth date when the clerk asked,

“Telephone number?”

“What?”

“Telephone number?”

Now I do know my number, but I have to think first.  I never call myself and if I did I would be on speed dial.

“Umm, just a second.  Is this a pop quiz?”

“No sir.”

“Wait, here it is, I think, 908-555-1234.”

“Zip code?”

“What?”

“Zip code?”

“Umm, I don’t know, I never mail myself a letter.  Maybe 08872? Whatever the code for Sayreville is.”

“Address?”

“Holy cow, this is a pop quiz!  Something, something Colony Drive.  I told you I don’t often mail myself a letter.  Holy crap, if I needed this medicine to save my life, am I going to die because I don’t remember my address?  Wait…229 Colony Drive.  HA!”

“Thank you sir, have a nice day.”

Next time I’m just going to hand him my drivers license.  It has my name, birth date, and address plus a photo.  I might have to write my phone number on my palm.

I hate the pop quiz.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Kajenka’s Rules


Kajenka’s Rules

My son has a pool table in his basement.  Recently he was telling me that his sons, 10 and 8 were getting pretty good at the game.  He explained how they play “Eight Ball” and that they had some special “house rules" for the game.

It reminded me of playing pool in college.

There was a regulation table at our fraternity house.  Some of the members were pretty good players.  We mostly played “Eight Ball” as the game was quick, and there is an element of luck. 

Eight Ball is played with one team having to clear the table of either the solid or striped balls and then hit the solid black ball, the eight ball, into a “called” pocket to win the game.

There were several rules to the game. 

1.       The first player to sink a ball could choose solids or stripes as their balls to sink.

2.       If you sank the eight ball on the break you win.

3.       If you sink the eight ball before all your balls were sunk, you lose.

4.       If you scratch while shooting the eight ball it gets respotted and you lose your turn. (Many tables rule this an automatic loss.)

5.       You only had to call your pocket on the eight ball.

One of the best players in the house was a senior, Mike Kajenka.  One day he lost a game and declared,

“Wait, if I can sink the rest of my balls still on the table, and then also sink the que ball it is a tie.”

The other player on the table agreed.

Mike cleared the table including sinking the que ball on his last shot for a tie.

From that day on, after every loss the losing player declared,

“Kajenka’s Rules!”

Most did not make a tie; the Kajenka Rule was pretty difficult to complete.

This was 55 years ago.

I recently read in a college fraternity newsletter, that “Kajenka’s Rule” was still in effect.  A current fraternity brother did some research about the origin of “Kajenka’s Rule” and apparently was even able to track down Mike to have the story of the rule explained.

I understand that Mike was honored that his “Rule” was still in effect.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Picture This


Picture This
What is it about cameras and pictures?  Why do people act goofy when you take their picture?  Why do small children run from a camera?

Every grandparent in the world wants pictures of their grandchildren.  What happens when you get them all together for that one photo you will cherish forever, perhaps the only time you will have them all together at the same time…they scatter, they cry, they sulk, they make funny faces and you have about seventeen-and-a-half seconds to take any picture at all.  Pose, “Say cheese”, I don’t think so.

And when you finally get a shot and check it out after they all run to different parts of their world, there is always at least one who thinks the picture-ruining “rabbit ears” is the funniest think in the world.

No one thinks they look good enough to have their looks preserved and maintained on film or digitally forever.  Wives refuse to allow you to capture your children as you know them, hair mussed up, face slightly dirty, clothes crumpled.  No; children must be scrubbed, combed and in their Sunday Best.

I liked my children and my memories to be real.

Young women are the worst for pictures.  If they turn to a camera and are told to “Say cheese” they automatically either stick out their tongue, make that fish-lips thing, or strike a goofy “sexy” pose.  If you catch them in a group you are guaranteed to capture a group cheerleader wave and the “Woo Woo” holler pose.



Back in the stone age, when a 16mm or 8mm movie camera was the latest thing, no one would allow anything but staged filming.  Go ahead, pull out any old films with mom, dad, and Aunt Tilly.  They will be waving like mad at the camera.  “Here’s Aunt Tilly feeding the baby…Wave to the camera Tilly.”  Tilly waves, apparently in those days waving was required to confirm the camera was actually taking moving pictures.

Cell phone cameras have allowed video and snap shots to be more natural these days.  It is so easy to take a quick picture or video catching your subjects unaware, that they do not act goofy or have a chance to hold up their hand and say, “No, I look hideous!”

If however, you do call attention to the cell phone camera and ask for a pose or a group picture, guaranteed you will get tongue-sticking, fish-lip faces with rabbit ears behind their heads.

By the way, I hate the “Woo Woo!”

Monday, November 18, 2019

THE INTERNAL GPS

THE INTERNAL GPS

Mr. Peabody's "way-back machine" takes you to a re-run from October 2011

I recently posted a blog “Handwriting” in which I poked fun at Mrs. Cranky’s chicken-scratch.  She claims I am always making fun of her, so I am now posting on one of her fabulous qualities.
Mrs. Cranky has her own built in GPS.  I believe she must have been a homing pigeon in a former life.  Plop her anywhere in New Jersey, blindfold her, spin her around, and then remove the blindfold, she will tell you where you are, and tell you the shortest route home.  In an unknown territory she has a skill many of her gender persuasion do not have.  She can read a map.

Mrs. C’s children, the step-cranks, often call for directions when they are lost.  Yes they have a Garmin, but they prefer their maternal GPS system.  Listening to these conversations is a treat.  Mrs. C does not just tell them where to turn….well just listen to an example:

“Where are you now?  Rt. 9.  OK do you see a Shell Gas Station on your right?  Good.  Go three blocks, on the right you will see an Arbee’s on the left is a Stewarts.  Go through the next light, and turn right at the “Your Gold for Sale” sign.  Three more blocks and turn left at Watanobee Street, it will be just after a large blue house with a white fence on your right.  OK then.  Good luck."

Yesterday I was sent off to grocery shop.  Mrs. Cranky made out a list in my presence to insure I could read her items.  I hate grocery shopping as I am all over the store looking for stuff.  I end up doing each aisle multiple times trying to find a single item.

Yesterday I was whipping through the store.  Every time I found an item on the list, the next item was close by.  I started with bread.  By the time I reached the last aisle, dairy, I realized why I was moving so fast.

Mrs. Cranky had placed each item in order as I would find them in the store.  Mind you, this store was the one near my Gym, a store where she seldom shops, and yet she knew where every item was.  In the exact order! 

I have no sense of direction; I am not good with maps.  Mrs. Cranky has many wonderful attributes; I particularly need her internal GPS.       

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Putting Away The Clubs


Putting Away The Clubs




The golf season is closing down, at least in this neck of the woods.  It is getting too cold, and often the leaves on the fairway make it impossible to find your ball. 

I know some people play golf right through the Winter, only the snow will stop them.  I am not one of those people.

Still, on my last time out I finished really well.  I stunk the first two holes, but played the last seven (I usually am a nine hole golfer) at one under par.  Yes, I play the old man tees, almost as short as the ladies tees, and it is not a really difficult course, but seven holes at one under par is really good for me.

4- pars
2- birdie  
1- bogey

Then the other day at the range I was hitting really well; far and straight.  I think I found my rhythm and a way to keep the good rhythm. I really wanted to try it out on the real course.

The weather turned cold, too cold for me, but last Friday there was a possible open weather window.  The temperature was as high as 50 degrees with little wind…I hate the wind, so I almost hit the course for the last time this year.

Then I thought.

“You finished your last round really well.  You found something on the range, why not just wait till next year thinking you are on to something and not play one more time and maybe ruin that feeling.”

Reminded me of a story.

I never knew my Grandfather to play golf.  He was an expert Bridge player, I think they called it a “Master,” and he also loved fishing.  My father told me one story about Grandpa and golf, and knowing my grandpa, I believe it to be true.

When he was young, Grandpa did play from time to time, but he was not very good.  On the last time he played, he teed off and hit a really good drive.  He reached the green in regulation and two putted for a par.  The next hole he hit another really good drive, hit the green on his second shot and dropped a 15 foot putt for a birdie.

After that second hole, Grandpa told the other members of his foursome that he forgot he had a business appointment and had to leave the course.

He had no such appointment.  Grandpa just knew when to quit.  I don’t believer he ever played again.

I’m not quite the same “quit-while-you’re-ahead” player my Grandfather was, but I do think I’ll spend this Winter thinking I can actually play the game.

The clubs are going into the storage room.

For those that may give a dang:
Par - The score (number of strokes to get the frigggin ball in the hole) good golfers are expected to make
Birdy - One under par, the score really good golfers are expected to make (from time to time)
Bogey - One over par, a good score for bad golfers
Eagle - Two under par, a score only pros or lairs make.
Albatross - Three under par, a score pros may dream of, but only liars ever get. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To


They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To
Automobiles that is, they don’t make them like they used to. 

I love those old car shows that towns have from time to time.  I love looking at and remembering those old beauties.

Big fins, classic lines, and bumpers that actually protect from bumping.  Some of those old bumpers looked like they were made to not only protect, but to do real damage to intruding autos.  Large bullet like hunks of steel protruding on either side of the immovable bumper ready to pierce the armor of any other car that dared to not stop in time.

Those cars were great, built to last.  Well except the old cars of the 70’s and 80’s, they were built to maximize profits in Detroit. 

If the fifties and sixties were the “Golden Age” of big beautiful American cars, the 70’s and 80’s were the “Crap Age” for cars.  Cars that broke down when plastic parts gave way, cars that burst in flames in accidents or sometimes just for spite.  The “Crap Age” was put to rest by cars from Japan.  They were cheaper, more economical and built better.  The cars from Japan forced American cars to improve. 

The early Japanese cars did have issues.  It took a while for them to learn how to properly protect their cars.  They used crappy paint and not very many coats.  I had a Honda in ’81 that was a great car.  Drove like a dream, but after 8 years it didn’t just suffer from rust, it basically dissolved.

The cars built in both the “Golden Age” and the “Crap Age” needed an oil change and lube every 3000 miles.  If they got 20 MPG to a gallon of gas it was a great thing.  I had a ’68 VW bug that got terrific mileage compared to the American cars, maybe 28 MPG.  Of course, it had a 40-horsepower engine that would not move it any faster than 60 MPH.  It went from zero to 60 in about 15 minutes.

One hundred thousand miles was the gold standard for most of those old cars.   If you got that many miles out of it, you did really well.

I still think cars need service every 3000 miles, but my dealer will not even let me in with less than 5000 miles.  They recommend 6000 miles.  I read an article the other day about the 50 models today that should run like a top for 250,000 miles if maintained properly.

Practically every model made today.  Dang, 250,000 miles! 

Today’s cars have shit bumpers.  One tiny bump and you need a new one for about $750.  Today’s cars don’t have fancy classic lines.  They all look alike.

Those old cars, after the 100,000-mile mark, would burn oil and leave a smoke screen trail behind them.  I can’t remember the last time I saw one of those old smoking Hooptees on the road.

Cars today look alike, but with power everything, rear and side cameras, safer breaks, gas mileage of 25 to 40 MPG, a life span of 250,000 miles, maintenance only every 6000 miles, and tires that last for 30,000 miles or more.  

They just don’t make them like they used to.

Today’s cars are a bit boring to look at, but all in all, I am glad they don’t make them like they used to.

I do miss those old bumpers that would punish anything that got in their way.