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Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Window

The Window
Just a quick trip on the way-back machine to April 2016
Most Grandparents worry about their grandchildren.  They worry because they don’t think their children know what they are doing.  They don’t think their children know what they are doing because when grandparents were just parents, they didn’t know what they were doing.
We look back when our own little ones were in need of protection and we sometimes failed. 

My oldest, my daughter, should have been killed or seriously disfigured because of our…ok, my incompetence.

I was cleaning windows in the spring.  The dining room window was one of those sliding things that came out to be easily cleaned on both sides, and then replaced back in its track.  I had pulled this window out and cleaned both sides when the phone rang.  Instead of letting the phone ring and finish putting the window back in its track, I left it on the sill leaning slightly onto the window frame. 

While I went to the phone, a seven month old Mary Beth was crawling around the dining room, to be close no doubt to daddy.   The next thing I heard was a loud crash, the tinkling of glass and the screaming of a child.  Apparently a gust of wind had blown the window away from the frame and it tumbled down to the floor.

I ran into the dining room in a panic.  If I had just accidentally killed or severely cut my daughter, my wife was going to be really angry.  I found my scared and screaming daughter smack dab in the middle of the broken window, surrounded by shards of broken glass.

She was frightened, but uninjured, uncut, not a scratch.  I ran and picked her up shaking like the proverbial leaf.  The window was directly over Mary Beth when it was blown over. It apparently hit a dining room chair directly on the top of its rail.  It shattered on the chair and the window frame came down surrounding my little girl but the glass shattered and fell also around but not on the crawling toddler.

They say God looks after drunks and little children.  On this day he was certainly watching at least one little child.

So, all you young parents, the reason your own parents don’t think you are capable of successfully raising a child is they know from experience that if you let your guard down for a second, stuff happens.  They fear you may not be competent, because they probably know the fact that you are alive to be a parent at all is a matter of their own dumb luck.  

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Toy Guns

Toy Guns
Princess Kate and young Prince George
I was just reading an article about children who play with toy guns. Several experts had studied whether or not toy gun play leads to later violence.  The answer depends on which expert was asked.

When I was a young crank, I played with toy guns all the time.  I had cap guns that fired rolls as fast as you could pull the trigger.  I had toy pistols and rifles.  My friends and I played cops and robbers and cowboys and Native Americans almost every day.  I watched westerns with tons of gun fights, and police shows where the bad guy was told to “Stop or I’ll shoot” and if he did not stop, he got shot.

There was lots of violence on TV and lots of play violence in my yard.

I have never fired a real gun in my life…never wanted to, probably never will.

My older brothers had a Red Rider bee-bee gun.  They shot toy soldiers and targets.  I think one of them may have shot a bird once.  That event cured both of ever wanting to shoot at anything except inanimate objects.  I don’t believe either of my brothers ever shot a real gun. 

Wait…My mom got a 22 rifle because she was afraid the ground hogs were destroying her property and her house was going to fall into her creek.  Jim did fire that gun at the ground hogs.  He only fired to scare them and make mom happy.

I have three sons.  They all had toy guns, but not, as I remember, as many as I had.  They probably had more water pistols, and nerf bullet guns than cap guns.  To my knowledge none of them have ever actually fired a real gun.

My daughter never played with toy guns.  She is married to a retired Army Ranger.  She has fired a real gun, but only at targets and skeets.

I learned Latin in school.  I have never spoken Latin since.  I learned algebra, geometry and some calculus in school.  Except for A2+B2 = C2, I have never used those math skills.

I am not an expert, but I do have opinions. 

In my opinion playing with a baseball does not make a child grow up to play for the Yankees, learning to ride a bike does not lead to the Tour de France, and playing with toy guns is not a gateway to mass murder.

Personally, I do not like guns but I do not believe there is anything wrong with children playing with toy guns

I will admit that in todays anti-gun climate, I would probably discourage my children from playing with anything other than a water pistol.  It is not worth getting neighborhood lectures or drive-by stink-eyes!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

People Are Weird!

People Are Weird!

I am not watching Game Of Thrones

Mrs. C recently got into “Game of Thrones.”  Encouraged by her brother that “You have to watch” she binged all the seasons on the HBO on-demand function.

I tried to watch, but for various reasons, most relating to being an old fart, I found it unwatchable.  I do peek at it occasionally while messing around on the computer and Mrs. C is watching. 

Recently I’ve been reading that “Game of Thrones” viewers are upset at a sex scene from the latest episode.  Apparently a young lady that has been on the show from a young age was in a sex scene where she is now about 17 (TV age?).  Actually it is not even a sex scene, but more of an inferred sex scene.  She is seen briefly with her backside undressed and then later shown resting with a man under covers.

Based on several articles I have read this scene has upset many people.  The idea of this young girl having sex is disturbing to viewers.

While only casual observing this show by peeking up from my computer screen, I have seen people having dinner while others were having intercourse of the sexual kind in the corner of the room.  I have seen multiple heads lopped off.  There is violence and human degradation of which I could not even imagine.  There are flying fire breathing dragons and zombies.  There is backstabbing literal and figurative.  This is not a show for the faint of heart.

And yet, a seventeen year old girl in a time where you were lucky if you lived passed thirty, having sex with a slightly older man is upsetting to many viewers.

I asked Mrs. C why was this scene such an issue especially on a show that is over the top with violence and degradation.

Her answer?

“People are weird!”     

Or, maybe they are jerks.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Home Field Advantage!

The Home Field Advantage!

How can I put this delicately?  I’m old.  Old people have issues.  I suspect this is an issue many old people have.  Hmm…how to say, how to say?

I am a creature of habit.  There are some things that just always happen at around the same time.  For older people nature's alarm rings at the same time every day.  At least it does for me.  I like to be home when I answer the alarm.  I prefer the home field advantage.

When we go on vacation, I sometimes do not get the alarm for a few days.  Nature knows I prefer the home field advantage, and the alarm is shut down.  I have heard others who claim to have the same “Vacation alarm” system.

This year we visited with Mrs. C’s relatives on Easter.  We had great food, good drink, conversation, and lots of laughs.  We do this every year, leaving early in the day, and staying till well after dark.  

An early breakfast seamlessly morphs to brunch and with only a short respite is followed by dinner.  In between there is lots of liquid refreshment and knoshables.    

My issue is that early in the day is several hours before my alarm goes off.  Being away my system knows to delay the alarm, but by the time dinner is over the alarm is insistent.  Great food and near constant eating with a cup or two of coffee and maybe a beer as well does not quiet the alarm…it infuriates it.

At this point, as much as I am having a good time, I really would prefer to go home where the alarm can by answered with comfort.  As I drop hints to Mrs. C, she is oblivious to my issue and gets irritated with my hints that it is getting late.

“Umm, it’s getting a little late, you don’t want to miss the new episode of 'Game of Thrones', do you?”

“It will be on demand, I can catch up later, I’m having a good time, just stick it out…HONESTLY, don’t be a jerk!”


My WASP upbringing makes it impossible to explain the real reason for my impatience.

Now I am getting more uncomfortable, and sneaking outside to hit the snooze becomes more frequent, and quite frankly a little risky.  I finally had to answer the alarm.  When everyone was occupied with gossip, I slinked off to the away-field.  

With more than just a little difficulty, I was able to quiet the alarm enough to reasonably enjoy the next hour and a half of family gossip and safely make the 45-minute trip back home.

Once we were home and all the dinner left-overs were put away (Italians will not let you leave their home without taking food), I was finally able to completely shut off the alarm with minimum effort.

There is nothing like having the home field advantage.

Monday, April 22, 2019


Taking a trip on the way-back machine to May 2014

So I’m writing a post and I want to express happiness about something.  I write “yeah” then it doesn’t seem correct, so I try “yea.”  That didn’t seem right either.  I suppose I could Google it, but instead I asked Mrs. Cranky.

“If I want to show happiness, is the word Y-E-A, or Y-E-A-H?”


“Yes. But is it spelled Y-E-A, or Y-E-A-H.”




“Yes yea, or yes yeah.”


“Yup what?”

“Yup yeah.”

“Yup Y-E-A-H or yup Y-E-A?”

“Yup Y-E-A-H.”

“So not Y-E-A.”

“No, Y-E-A is in yea or nay, Y-E-A-H is yeah as in yippee.”

“Maybe I should just say yippee.”


“I should Google it.”

I Googled it.

“Which is it?”

“Not Y-E-A or Y-E-A-H.”



“That’s what I said.”

“No, not Y-E-A, that means yes in the affirmative, not Y-E-A-H, that means yup.  It should be Y-A-Y…Yay!”

I decided to just write "It makes me happy."

Thursday, April 18, 2019

It All Started with Designer Jeans

It All Started with Designer Jeans

Money, to generations after mine, seems to be no object.  I’m not sure when this happened, I first remember it being with blue jeans.

When I was young, I’m pretty sure blue jeans (we called them dungarees) were not that expensive, maybe three bucks.  For parents who lived through the depression that might have seemed like a lot.  Jeans, however lasted forever and with three sons, a and-me-down society, and knee patches, my folks got a lot of value out of that 3 bucks.

Somehow when I became a parent, blue jeans were a “designer” product.  I remember there were Gloria Vanderbilt and Jordache jeans which sold for $60 or more.  The old traditional Levy’s which lasted forever were maybe $10, but my children and all their friends had to have “designer” brands.

And I mean “HAD” to have.

“Dad…you just don’t understand!”

Then there were sneakers…OMG! My sneakers and all my friend’s sneakers were “Keds” and bought at the supermarket for a couple of dollars.

Children after my generation would run away from home before wearing “Keds.”  They demanded sneakers that cost as much or more than those damn designer jeans.

Now if my children read this, they will claim I did not buy those jeans or sneakers…they may be right, I know I fought it tooth and nail.  As I recall I lost most fights…Mom stepped in and let me know that I just “Do not understand!”

I do know I wore $19.99 shoes to work that were from Kmart which looked like crap after a few weeks, but they had to last a year.  I drove a 20-year-old Volkswagen to work that my kids whined about having to use when they got their license.

Currently my step-daughter is planning a wedding. 

I remember weddings at the Holiday Inn, baked ziti, chicken parm, and dancing to music from a local band…AND, everyone had a great time (ok there was alcohol).

A wedding today compares to those Holiday Inn (or maybe a VFW) bashes much like the designer jeans to my old dungarees.

I am not paying for any of this, well indirectly maybe a little, but I still had to voice my opinion that the cost is just ridiculous. 

“Wouldn’t they prefer a less expensive celebration and have down payment on a house?”

“That’s just not possible!”

“Hell, we did it 10 years ago for 1/10 the price!”

“You were cheap!”

“But everyone had a great time (there was alcohol) and we’re still married so…”

“You just don’t understand.”

I blame those damn designer jeans!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Old Dudes with Glasses Are Often Big Asses

Old Dudes with Glasses Are Often Big Asses

Since my cataract surgery, where I had corrective lens replacement, I need glasses, but I don’t need glasses.  I mean I can read, and see distance pretty well, if I squint, and if I had to I could survive without any glasses.

But…small print is difficult to read.  It is not blurry, it is just too tiny to read comfortably, so I need magnifying glasses.  I can see TV ok, but slightly corrective glasses make watching more relaxing.

Because I can survive without glasses for reading or just general getting around, I often found myself needing glasses that were not conveniently available.  I would be upstairs and I’d have left my glasses downstairs or in the basement.

No problem, glasses are cheap if you don’t buy ones with frames from some asshole fancy name designer.  How hard is it to design glasses?  Let’s see, how about a frame that holds the lenses in place and hooks on to your ears so they don’t fall off your nose!

For a nominal fee, I purchased two extra pair of glasses for getting around and TV watching, plus I repaired an old pair of frames that I had broken when I sat on them.  I also purchased three pair of Rite-aide reading magnifier glasses.

I now have a pair of readers and regulars on every floor, and a fourth pair of regulars in my car.

End of problem, I always have a pair of glasses handy.


It seems I often have a pair resting on my head as I do not need them all the time.  Then I go to a different floor and take them off my head.  Next thing I know I have multiple sets of readers and regulars all on the same floor. 

I can’t win for trying.

Just the other day I was downstairs in the kitchen with a pair of my upstairs regulars on my head and I realized my basement glasses were in the kitchen.  I had to get something from the basement so I figured I would take the basement pair downstairs where they belong.


I got distracted, like a pin dropped or something…anyway, I went downstairs and forgot to bring down the basement glasses.


I went back upstairs when I realized I had a pair of glasses on my head.  I could have just left them in the basement and used my basement glasses for my upstairs glasses, they are basically the same.


And Mrs. C claims I am being stubborn about getting a hearing aid…I have enough trouble keeping up with the damn glasses!

This getting old thing sucks.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Which came first, the Jerk or the Bitch?

Which came first, the Jerk or the Bitch?

Hop in the way-back machine with Mr. Peabody to April 2015 where things have not changed very much at The Cranky's

Which came first, the jerk or the bitch?  It’s a question I am sure that many married couples ask.  It was asked in the Cranky home this morning.  It started when Mrs. C complained to me that I over cooked her waffle.  

I guess I need to explain.

Every morning I get my breakfast, eggs and bacon, and when I come back upstairs with my cup of coffee I bring Mrs. Cranky a glass of OJ and a toasted Eggo Waffle (plain, no syrup…I KNOW!).  This morning she complained to me that I left the waffle in the toaster too long while I was brewing my coffee.

“Next time, brew your coffee first, so you don't leave the waffle in the toaster.  That overcooks it.”

How she knew I toasted the waffle and then hit “brew” on the Kurig thing leaving the toasted waffle in the still hot toaster I’ll never know…she just knows stuff.  

Anyway I complained that she doesn’t appreciate that I bring a waffle and juice to her every morning.

“I never ask you to make it for me, but if you are going to make it, make it right.”

“Oh, I forgot you don’t like people to do things for you, you don’t want to be beholding to anyone.  It’s OK I won’t bother you with bringing you breakfast anymore.”

“That’s not true, I like that you bring me the waffle and OJ!”

“Well you never show it, you usually complain about the way it is toasted.”

“Not true.”

“Very true.”



“If you weren’t such a jerk, I wouldn’t be a bitch.”

“If you weren’t such a bitch, I wouldn’t be a jerk.”

And so the discussion morphed from complaining about an over toasted waffle to which came first, my being a jerk, or Mrs. C being a bitch.

We still have not reached a conclusion.

Currently I believe I am losing.