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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Home Owners Association Bull Shit


Home Owners Association Bull Shit

Mrs. C and I live in a town house community.  As such we are required to follow the rules of our HOA. 

Now the association does a pretty good job of snow removal, and the landscaping is always very neat and clean.  The community always looks very nice.  In my opinion they probably pay way too much for the landscaping and snow removal, we often have plows show up for a dusting, and the lawn is mowed, weed poisoned and watered more than needed.  I don’t complain, if someone gets a little kick back for over-done service, I understand…that is just how things work, I get it.

Somethings other things also bother me, but I let them slide. 

Our association fees were raised $150 a month a few years ago because they didn’t set aside money every year for roof replacement.  It is supposed to be a temporary increase, but I know damn well no fee has ever been temporary, it will be spent and 20 years from now they will not have any money set aside for a new roof.  I probably will not be around for that.

It does annoy me that they installed five speed bumps along the main road.  It is a pain in the ass and not needed.  There were no accidents from speeders that required the speed bumps…I friggin hate them, but I say nothing.  I’d prefer parents teach their kids to look both ways when they cross the street, but they don’t.  Kids no longer know how to cross a street, they just cross when they feel like it and assume any car will be prepared to stop for them.  Most of the adults don’t know how to cross either; head down, slow your pace and never look for a car.  It is just a matter of time, speed bump or not that one of these cretins will lose the battle against 3000 pounds of steel.

Our streets have a sign about every fifty yards telling people to pick up after their dog.  In this day and age, if people do not pick up after their dog, a sign will not change their behavior.

About every fifty yards there are also signs telling people where they can or can not park.  In most cases there is no reason why people can not park where they are told not to.  In most cases people ignore the signs.  The signs just aggravate me, but I say nothing.

Our community pool has signs telling people to shower, what to wear, what not to smoke and what not to drink.  I no longer smoke, and don’t feel like having a drink around the pool, and neither did anyone else in the years before they put up about 15 signs.  There are no signs saying not to pee in the pool.  I still do not pee in the pool, see we do not need signs for everything.

The signs just piss me off.

Get off your power trip already, this in not high school. I don’t need a Miss Gromowitz lecturing everyone about chewing gum in assembly! Most of us are grownups! 

Today I received an email that was sent to every resident.  It warned about putting out garbage not in a can, and putting out garbage earlier than the night before pickup.  BTW yes, I have seen some people put out garbage in plastic bags, I have never seen one torn apart by our local wild life.  And if someone puts out their cans early, which I have not seen, I don’t think it would affect me or anyone else one whit!

WTF!  Why not tell everyone not to walk around naked. piss on the lawn, or egg bomb our neighbors!

I responded to this latest affront :

If on occasions my trash can might be overflowing, I assume leaving trash overflow in a bag is acceptable and I will act accordingly.  If I will not be home the night before pickup and am unable to make arrangements to put out my trash at the appointed time, I might put it out earlier.  I hope these special situations would not upset protocol, I enjoy living in an association that does not nit-pick needlessly at the detriment of a reasonable and relaxed living environment.

Thank you; just clarifying the rules and how I will interpret them.

I hope the ex-hall-monitor that sent that email tries to pick a fight with me.  I am too friggin old to put up with this petty crap.





Monday, February 18, 2019

RANDY the GARBAGE MAN

RANDY the GARBAGE MAN

The big event at the Crankettes’ house when I put on my Grandpa Joe Hat is the arrival of Randy the Garbage Man.  Is that politically correct? Are they called Refuse Recyclers, Trash Totters, or Disposal Engineers?  

I’m pretty sure Randy would say that he is a Garbage Man.

Randy is a microcosmic example of the power of capitalism.  I understand there are functions which only government can legislate, mandate, and perform; garbage disposal as demonstrated by Randy is not one of those functions.

The garbage pickup at my municipality pales in comparison to Randy.

Randy is an independent contractor hired by the town where the Crankettes reside.  He owns his truck.  Randy collects the garbage by himself.  He drives his truck, stops, gets out, gathers the cans, empties them into the truck, compacts it, gets back in the cab and drives up to the next can. 

This is one hard working dude. Along the way, he takes time to wave to the Crankettes, save the compacting operation to display for their great enjoyment, and as he pulls away he gives the horn a short blast.  I am told by long term residents, that Randy or his father before him have not missed or been late for a pickup in twenty-five years.

The collection in my town works pretty well.  There are probably three trucks that do the work that Randy does.  There are three people to a truck, a driver and two collectors.  They work hard and do a fine job, faster, but no better than Randy.

Every two years our town’s collectors threaten or actually go on strike.  Randy never goes on strike.  Our collectors get vacation and sick days.  Randy does not get sick.  He seldom takes vacations. 

Randy is his own boss.  Randy’s boss is tough to work for.  Randy would not want to work for anyone else.

Re-run from 2012.  Last I heard Randy sold the route and is in the landscaping business.  On his last day he made a special stop at the front door to say goodbye to the crankettes.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Stupid Headlines 021719


Stupid Headlines 021719
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider sometimes sophomoric comments.

___________________________________

New Jersey woman accused of burglary flips bird in mugshot – Actually she used both fingers…double bird! Give a Jersey girl full credit for attitude.

They went to an abandoned home to smoke weed. Inside, they found a tiger. – That pot must Grrrrrrrreat!

Lufthansa Is Suing a Passenger for Missing a Flight – They can’t sue a passenger for missing a flight, if he missed the flight, he wasn’t a passenger.

‘Assman’ displays name on truck’s tailgate after license plate request denied – I’m sure I’ve seen this on a sit-com somewhere.

Half-naked woman shuts down South Carolina airport for hours – Well I know it takes me a while putting back my belt and shoes, but hours?

Ex-Cowboys running back, on trial for rape charges, shouts in court: 
'She never said no' -
I think running to the neighbors half naked 
screaming for help should qualify as "NO!"

Man says killing mountain lion with bare hands 'was just like a wrestling match' – Except his opponent had claws and fangs and was allowed to use them!

Jose Cuervo launching all-you-can-drink tequila train excursion – Must be a very expensive excursion, I heard everyone on board was loaded.

In Florida, another doorbell licker's spotted on camera – My favorite news State…What the hell, doorbell? Is that what the kids are calling it now?  WHAT…it’s really a doorbell? Never mind.

Kentucky fisherman catches massive 'goldfish' with biscuit- A huge goldfish is unusual, but one with a biscuit? That’s just crazy.  I wonder what he used for bait.

Utah mailman, 91, retires with perfect record after 69 years on job – 69 years without ever going postal! 

Really, that is amazing, not an easy job especially at age 91.

FEEL-GOOD STORY of the WEEK:

College athlete with Down syndrome wows pro golfers in Arizona – For any armature golfer to perform under these conditions with two pro’s and a large gallery is really difficult…she made par!

Just try not to smile.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Just remembering old stuff


Just remembering old stuff

Not much happening in the Cranky home, nothing worth posting.  I let my mind go and I start to wax nostalgia.  Not the good old days, not the bad old days, just days gone by…different times.

Remember deliveries?  Today we get deliveries of stuff we buy on-line.  Seems like every day or two there is a package left outside our front door.  In the fifties and sixties, I remember other deliveries.

The milk man left milk and butter and eggs.  Delivery was regular, every day…we drank a lot of milk.  We would leave a note if the regular order needed changing.  The milk was whole or skim.  I don’t remember any percent milk.  Sometimes whole had the cream on top and you had to shake it up.  In the spring the milk had a slight onion taste…I guess the cows were eaten onion weed.  The milk bottles were left in a metal box with a lid.  Used bottles went in the box and they were exchanged for new bottles at around four in the morning.

Mom didn’t go to the dry cleaner, that was picked up and dropped off.  Shirts came on a hanger with a cardboard sleeve on the bottom of the metal hanger.  That cardboard thing and the metal hanger made for great bow and arrow fights, who needed nerf guns?

Beer and soda were delivered.  We had an old fridge in the garage, the delivery guy just opened the garage door and left the order in the fridge.

Doctors still made house calls in the fifties, but it was rare.  I remember a doctor visit when my brothers and I had the mumps.  That was another thing that was delivered, measles, mumps, rubella (German Measles) and chicken pocks.

I think there was a grocery delivery too, at least for some of the fifties.  Mom just called it in and paid at the door.

Shoes, do they still have those foot sizing things and a salesman with that stool where you put your foot?  Seems like today you just know your size and pull out different shoes to try on without a sales person.

You made a car appointment at the local service station to get a lube, change your oil and filters, a lot of dads knew how to do it themselves.  I even remember changing spark plugs and sizing the gap.  Do cars still use those things?

We did mow our own lawns, no service for that unless you were really hoity toity.  We had a reel push mower and then later a power mower that you started with a wrap around rope.  It took several pulls and you had to know how to work the choke.  Landscaping was usually just a few bushes that needed an occasional trimming.

We had a clothes dryer, but mom preferred the outside clothes hanger, outdoor drying just made the clothes smell better.

No cable TV, everyone had an antenna on the roof or rabbit ears on the set.  Football did not broadcast NFL games if your local team was playing at home.  When the Giants played Philly, Dad would go up on the roof and turn the antennae toward Philly.  He’d be yelling “Better now?” until we got maximum reception, always snowy, but we got the game.

Winters were definitely colder in the fifties and sixties.  Every winter there was ice skating on local ponds for at least one week, sometimes two weeks.  Strangly I remember the summers being hotter than today, lots of 100-degree days…might just be because air conditioning was pretty much only in the supermarket or the movie theater.

That’s it.  Oh I have more memories, this post is just long enough for now.

What stuff do you remember?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

I LOVE YOU

I LOVE YOU
Of all the "special" days, I dislike Valentine's Day the most.  I guess I am just not romantic.  Why a special day for a relationship that is 24/7/365?  I never know what to do on this special day.  I decided this year to re-run a post on the subject from 2012.

I love you; oh those three little words.  They mean so much, yet they can mean so little. My family does not use these words lightly or often.

I don’t believe my Dad ever said those words to me.  He worked long hard days for me.  He was always there for me.  He supported me in sports and paid for my lousy grades in school.  We fished together, sailed together, bowled together and golfed together.  He taught me to be a good person.  He never said I love you.  I don’t believe I ever said I love you to him.

My Mom never said those words to me.  She gave me a nice home life.  She cleaned, washed, and cooked.  She doctored my cuts and scrapes.  She took care of me when I was ill.  She was there with a philosophical answer for every problem and situation.  She never said I love you.  I don’t believe I ever said I love you to her.

I never felt unloved by my Mom and Dad.

I have been in two relationships where those words were used often.  In one relationship I never left the house without saying and hearing them.  I was always told when seeing or leaving my grown children, “Say I love you…go on…say it.”  Both of these relationships ended with my partner leaving for someone else.  With one of them I was reading a note planted in my suitcase while I was away on a trip.  The note said “I love you.”  As I was reading the note, she was with another man.

My culture or at least the culture of my family does not use these words lightly.  Often we do not use them at all.  I used to joke about that.  I used to be ashamed that the words came with such difficulty.

I have come to realize that sometimes when words come easy, their meaning is diminished. Actions are more important than words, however if there is any doubt, for this one time only, here it comes:

To Mrs. Cranky; Karen – I love you

To my brother Chris and sister-in-laws Mary Stewart and Judy – I love you

To my Cranks; Mary Beth, Mike, Matt, and Spencer- I love you

To my Crankettes; Tommy, Halley, Graham, Cole and Connor – I love you

To my daughter-in-law Devon – I love you

To my step cranks; Casey and Peter – Yes I love you guys too

There it is. 

                     I said it. 

                                    I mean it. 

                                                      Don’t ask me again!    

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Summer Shoes


Summer Shoes


Mrs. C always has an answer.  Sometimes the answer just makes me say, “Wa Wa WHAT?”

My wife is not an exceedingly organized or neat person.  She has many other wonderful attributes, so I overlook the occasional clutter most of the time.  Sometimes I can not help but make a comment.

By our bedroom window, there is a bench.  The bench opens up for storage.  Inside there are currently about one thousand pairs of shoes…ok, maybe twenty pair.

When I do laundry (we share this about 50/50) I never know where to put her folded laundry away.  I pile her laundry on the bench for her to put it away where she wants.

The other day I noticed that the clean laundry was piling up quite high on the bench.

“Are you ever going to put your laundry away?”

“I’ll get to it.”

“When? it is getting so high it may not hold the next batch?”

“It’s fine for now, why do you care?”

“It just looks a mess, and they’re all clean, at some point we won’t know which are clean and which may need to be cleaned.”

“I’ll get to it.”

“When? You know you have shoes in the bench, with all those clothes on the top you won’t be able to get to your shoes if you want them.”

“All those shoes are summer shoes, sandals and strappy things.”

Summer shoes…who knew…at least I know when the laundry will be put away.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Period End of Sentence


Period End of Sentence
There is a local commercial where an unsolicited douche-bag claims a product is simply the best, “Period end of sentence!”

That phrase is like chalk on the blackboard to me… Too young to know what a blackboard is? 

It is like aluminum foil on your fillings…You grew up with fluoride and don’t know that filling feeling?

Hell, I don’t have anything for young people…how about it’s like Grandma trying to RAP?

Anyway, that phrase is just extra annoying to me.

It means,

“There is nothing to discuss, I am right” “Don’t argue, it is fact” “I’m right and your opinion is worthless so just shut the f*ck up.”

When I hear someone end an opinion with “Period end of sentence” it gets my hackles up, even if I agree.  So, I argue anyway.

Por exemplum: (for example…I didn’t take three years of a dead language for nothing)

“It does not matter what you eat, the only way to lose weight is to exercise and burn more calories than you consume, period end of sentence!”

(Which BTW, there are many studies which question this long-held belief)

I respond:

“That is interesting, comma pause for dramatic effect, where do you come by that conclusion question mark asking a question.”

“It is common knowledge period.”

“Common to whom question mark indicating some doubt about your expertise.”

“Why are you talking like that?”

“You started it semi-colon compound thought and because you are an idiot exclamation point indicating voice raising period end of sentence me leaving the room and giving you the finger.”

I may need some meds, after all it is just a stupid commercial.



THE BUG

THE BUG
When I graduated from college, I bought a brand new VW Bug.  It cost $1600. It listed for less, but I paid extra for a radio and undercoating.  I put down $200, my pop paid the rest.  When I got a job, I gave him $200 a month and it was fully paid for by Christmas.

My 1968 bug had 53 horsepower and could reach speeds of almost 65 MPH…80 if going downhill.  The air cooled engine never overheated.  The rear engine positioned extra weight over large (for the size of the car) rear drive tires, giving it excellent traction in the snow.  The Bug got me through high water (they claim the damn thing could float) and heavy snow.  I never got stuck.

The best thing about the Bug was it was a friendly car.  It was cute.  It was unintimidating.  I was never challenged to drag race at a stop light.  The Bug had a friendly horn, a cute little beep-beep.  I used the horn often, and no one ever shot me that middle finger salutation.

My Dad bought a VW Bug in 1955.  There were almost no Bugs on the road in 1955. Whenever you did pass another Bug, both cars would respond with a beep-beep greeting. In 1968, when I bought my Bug, there were millions on the road.  I passed other Bugs all the time; still the beep-beep tradition was followed.

I think the best thing about my Bug is it was an anti-road rage car.  It was impossible to get angry at the Bug.  When I went up a hill and couldn’t go faster than 50 MPH, the cars behind would never get angry.  They knew it was not my fault, it’s a Bug!

I miss my Bug; I sold it for $50 when it was twenty four years old and it was still running as good as ever.  Well almost as good as ever.  To this day I am still sorry I sold it.

The world was a better place when the Bug was in production.  With the Bug off the road, driver courtesy has disappeared.   The road has not been the same since the piece-sign painted, plastic-daisy on the antennae Bugs left it.

My roots are half German.  I am told the German people are a strict, rigid, serious people. The Bug was the exact opposite of those stereotypes.

Germany gave us Hitler, but it also gave us THE BUG.

Beep-Beep! 
a re-run from February 2015

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Stupid headlines 021019


Stupid headlines 021019

_______________________________________-

Man Wants To Sue Parents For Giving Birth To Him Without Consent – Perhaps the courts will rule to undo the birth.

Costco selling 24-pound cheese 'Wedding Cake' – I don’t think I could keep a straight face when they sing “The Bride cuts the cheese, the Bride cuts the cheese, Hi Ho The Dario, the Bride cuts the cheese!

New York City man seen shattering lingerie store window, taking Barack Obama mannequin – WTF is a Barack Obama mannequin doing in a lingerie store window?

Colorado runner mauled by mountain lion choked animal to death – PETA demands an investigation.

Marijuana use may boost sperm count, study claims – Or it could be the potato chips.

Florida politician reportedly resigns following accusations she licked men's faces – Florida, the state that just keeps giving!

Man ‘clinically dies,’ resuscitated at Phil Collins’ ‘Not Dead Yet’ tour – This is why I don’t go to “Farewell” tours.

The boiling water challenge is sending people to the hospital – Do not try it in Florida, and don’t throw into the wind!

Bees can be taught to add and subtract – Well they missed 3 out of twenty, so they only get…wait for it… a ”B.”

Nancy Pelosi recreates 'sarcastic' clap – That’s the Liberal headline, so pleased with NP’s fantastic clap…Conservative headline was “Nancy Pelosi has ‘the’ clap.”

FEEL-GOOD STORYs

Airport stranger’s kindness reminds dad to embrace our differences – No big deal, simple everyday kind of thing, the very type of thing that should be a FEEL-GOOD story…check it out.



ONE MORE:

Wildlife team reunites baby otter with its mother – The only thing cuter than an otter is a baby otter!



Friday, February 8, 2019

Rules


Rules


This post is about sports, but it may morph into something else…we’ll see.  It was inspired by good fraternity friend “Captain Don” who set me off when he poked the bear.  If you disagree with my rant, blame “Captain Don.”

Rules are made to be broken…or sometimes, Overruled.

Kids need rules, but even kids know how to use them sensibly in their games. 

A close call at first base… “Tie goes to the runner.”

No need for instant replays, a close play goes to the runner, no argument; play on.

Unsure if a catch was made, or a player stepped out of bounds… “Do over.”

No fight, do it over and play on.

Or

“One two three shoot” and the call is decided…play on.

Rules establish boundaries, but there are times where common sense needs to make the decision.

The LA Rams recently won an important NFL football game because the ref missed an obvious call.  It was not a casual miss, it was an egregious WTF miss on two levels.  There was pass interference, and there was also a dangerous helmet to helmet hit.

A missed call cannot be challenged.  That is a good rule.  Without it, coaches would challenge every important play as there is almost always a ticky-tack penalty that could be called on every play.

Too bad the game does not include a “common sense” clause where the head ref could ask for a replay. 

But, “A rule is a rule.”  Sure, if you are a robot, but one thing that sets us apart from robots is common sense.  We should use it.

Last week in a golf tournament once again a “Rule” was allowed to trump common sense.

Rickey Fowler hit a chip shot that slowly trickled off the green.  It picked up steam downhill and bounced into a water hazard.  The grass should have stopped the ball at the fringe edge of the green; I don’t think it was the intent of the course designer to penalize such a shot so severely, but it does happen and the rule is “too bad” it cost you one extra stroke.

What happened next is where a rule should have been ignored based on common sense.

Rickey replaced the ball outside the hazard and left to survey his next shot.  While he was away from the ball, it somehow rolled back into the water and he was charged another penalty stroke.

According to the strict interpretation of the rule, if the ball is at rest and then rolls into the hazard it is another penalty.  But, where is the official that could have stepped in and said, “No, I don’t think the ball was ever at rest.” Or even “That’s ridiculous, do over, drop it again, no penalty.”

Where is common sense when it makes sense?

Yes, it is just sports, and in the long run who gives a damn, but sports are really just life on a field in front of spectators. 

Life demands common sense.  Rules need to be tempered with common sense.  It is why we have a Supreme Court that can say, yes, a law can be interpreted in one way, but if the intent of the law is obfuscated by a situation not anticipated when a law is written, we allow common sense to overrule.

I.E.

We have a right to bear arms, but a shoulder-held surface-to-air missile launcher probably was not envisioned when the Constitution was written.

Rules or laws need to be a guide to be followed in almost every case just so the game (life) can move on, but special extenuating circumstances should allow common sense to intervene.

Of course, then the issue becomes what is common sense? 

I don’t know how to define it, but I know it when I see it.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Here Lies Sense of Humor RIP


Here Lies Sense of Humor RIP




For a while now, I have felt that people are losing their sense of humor.  I had nothing tangible to explain this feeling, but it is there.  In analyzing some of my posts it is becoming more and more clear.

People do not find humor where they used to find it.

I often publish re-runs of older posts.  I find it interesting to read the comments on a post from 4 or 5 years ago and then the current comments.

Things that I was told made people spit out their coffee laughing five years ago now have reactions which indicate the post is taken as serious, not as humor or satire.   

I fear we have been conditioned to worry about our reactions to opinions, or situations. Finding humor may not be acceptable to others.  People are so worried about what might be offensive to someone, that it affects how they view things themselves.

We are a nation (world) walking on egg shells. 

Casual observations or jokes are often taken literally and  the joker is rebuked unmercifully on social media.  There is no correcting social media opinions, they take on a life of their own, misinterpretations of your idea or opinion becomes carved in stone.

Words are changed, intonations are inferred and a simple joke or observation will brand you as any number of nasty “ist” identifications.

We are slowly learning it is better to say nothing, laugh at nothing, for fear of offending.  We walk on egg shells

I first noticed this phenomenon in myself while listening to the radio. 

I happen to be a fan of so called “Shock Jock” Howard Stern, who is not afraid to stomp on egg shells.  No topic is off limits to him and he happens to be very funny. 

I don’t find all his comments or opinions to be funny.  Occasionally his topics make me uncomfortable.  Sometimes I just change the station and come back when the subject has changed. 

The man spouts opinions, generally totally of the cuff, on many subjects for several hour a day.  Sooner or later he might offend you a bit.  What I realized is that I can only listen to Howard alone in the car.  If there is anyone else in the car, I can’t listen.  It is uncomfortable to laugh at something he says for fear the other person does not find his comments amusing.

I think this is becoming the dynamic in our lives today.  We are afraid of offending not just with our comments or opinions, but even in our reactions to other peoples comments or opinions.  We are becoming conditioned to ways of thinking that are acceptable and anything that diverts from that thinking, even if in jest, is offensive.

The list of acceptable topics for humor is being whittled down to the point where we are losing our sense of humor.

I am not offended by many things; brutality is never funny, but there can be humor in almost anything if done properly.

I do find the loss of our sense of humor to be offensive.   


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

She is at it Again


She is at it Again


Every night after my dinner, I have a mug of coffee and dessert.  We generally have some little coffee cake muffins in the pantry.  Tonight, we were out.  What to do, what to do?  

I know that in the hall closet there is a large box with a bunch of Girl Scout cookies, mostly thin mints.  Thin mints are not my favorite.  My favorites are Samoa’s.

A few weeks ago, I sorted through this box and found a box of my favorites.

“How long have has that box of Samoa’s been buried in the closet box.”

“I didn’t think there were any more left.”

“Why so many thin mints?”

“You like thin mints.”

“Only as a last resort, Samoa’s are my favorite.”

“That’s why I have to hide them.”

“YOU HIDE THEM?”

“No…maybe…I don’t know.”

“How old are those cookies anyway, the box is always there, or is it a new box?”

“Maybe.”

“Maybe what?”

“I’m not sure.”

Mrs. C is never not sure; something was up.

Tonight, desperate for something to go with my coffee, I searched through the box again hoping for Samoa’s, but prepared to settle for thin mints*.

I pulled the box out of the closet to really be able to dig through.  When I pulled it out, a sweater that was behind it also came out.  Under the sweater was another large box of…that’s right, Girl Scout cookies.

Box number one had no Samoa’s, only thin mints and lemon drops.

Box number two was full of half thin mints, and half SAMOA’s!!

I had to wonder how long she had been hiding these.  Were they a new supply ordered this year?

I checked the best used by date.  SEPTEMBER 2018, this box of hidden cookies was at least a year old and probably two years old.

The Samoa’s were still good, but how long was she planning on hiding them?  Until they needed to be tossed?

I’d like to know how long they have been in hiding, but if I ask, the other boxes will get hidden again.  I found five boxes of Samoa’s.  When I finish them, I will ask.

*Mrs. C is at work three nights a week.