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Sunday, June 30, 2019


This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.

Men with 'dad bods' are happier, more attractive to women, survey claims – Interesting, of course it was 1000 middle-age men that were surveyed, but still…

Nazi soldiers used performance-enhancing 'super-drug' in World War II – The UN has declared all their victories forfeited.

San Francisco becomes 1st major US city to ban e-cigarettes – It is, however, still OK to shit on their sidewalks.

Betting on Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest denied in New Jersey – Apparently, Jersey legislators think “all the fixin’s” means the contest is rigged.

Rise of mental illness worldwide tied to austerity, inequality, insecurity, UN report says – I did not know that austerity, inequality and insecurity were new phenomena. 

New Jersey fisherman wrangles large shark in the middle of the beach – Telegram…Candygram…Paperboy…LANDSHARK!!

Massachusetts residents see 'tornado of poop' – This is worse than “Sharknado!”

Man needs chopstick surgically removed from hand after attempting beer bottle opening trick – I can’t even eat rice with chopsticks and this dude can open beer cans with them…oh wait, he can’t.

Snake slithering on moving truck is no match for windshield wipers – Oh come on headline writers…windshield “VIPERS” that’s a slam dunk.  “Truck has problem with windshield vipers” or “Wipers no match for vipers” or “Wipers swipe Vipers, scared driver needs diapers!”

What is Joe Biden’s net worth? – I have nothing against Joe Biden, but why would his net be worth any more than anyone’s net?

Texas woman banned from Walmart after eating half a cake, demanding to pay half-price – Almost makes sense, except she wanted to pay half price for the half she didn’t eat.


Baseball legend Albert Pujols takes the jersey off his back for young fan with Down syndrome – I Always thought Albert was special, this confirms it!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Vacation Blogging

Vacation Blogging

Man, blogging while on vacation is tough.  What?  Oh, yeah, good point, let’s not call it vacation, my life is a vacation…

Man, blogging is tough while on a change of venue.

I have the time to write, just not the ambition.  Yesterday I posted on waiting for an elevator, how boring and stupid is that.  Anything for a post.  I see my friend an Old Air Force Sargent is going through a similar plight.  The problem is, after eight years of almost daily blogging, I have run out of ideas.

It is like going to dinner with your wife of humpteen years.  The conversation is mostly about the couple in another booth.  I’ve used all my good material with my wife, now I have the same problem on my blog.

I get a good idea, and then just to be sure, search on a key word from previous posts…DAMN! I posted on that three years ago.

So that’s it, I’ve got nothing. 

If you want, just go up to that upper left-hand corner of my post search thingy and put in any damn word you can think of.  It will probably display at least one post on the subject…Otherwise, I got nothing.

Off to the beach for now!

Hold The Door!

Hold The Door!

Why do people always yell “Hold the door” at elevators?
When I worked in the City, our building had eight high speed elevators on every floor.  Every building I visited had multiple elevators on every floor.  If you missed an elevator, there was another one opening in about three seconds.
Why is there always someone yelling “Hold the door?”
To make it worse, there is always someone who jams his hand in the closing door so the idiot yelling “Hold the door” doesn’t have to wait that extra three seconds.
Meanwhile, every one on the elevator has to wait the extra three seconds, plus the time to “Hold the door!”
I know it is not much, but things like this always bothered me.  Why are people so impatient and also willing to make others wait because of their impatience?
The other day we were staying at a motel.  Our room was on the fourth floor.  There were only two elevators.  They were very slow elevators.  The elevators always stopped on every floor.  When we were in the lobby it took at least 5 minutes waiting for the elevator to come take us to the fourth floor.  Five minutes is about a half an hour in elevator waiting time.
By the second day of out stay, when we were coming into the lobby and needed the elevator, if I saw the door start to close, I yelled “Hold the door!”
I thought back to when I worked in the City and those people yelling “Hold the door” used to bother me so much; I realized, a lot of people at work lived in an apartment with only one or two very slow elevators.  When an elevator was available you would not want to miss it.  Yelling “Hold the door” was an instinctive reaction. 
I get it now.
Sometimes, when things make no sense to us, it is because of experiences we have not endured.  I now understand why people yell, “Hold the door!”
I do not understand why people always push the close button when the door is going to close automatically whether they push that button or not. 
Sometimes there is a rational reason for behavior; sometimes people are just stupid!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Seen on the Shore or Parenting 101

Seen on the Shore or Parenting 101

I did not know if this should be titled “Scene on the shore” or “Seen on the shore.”  I decided on “Seen” because the event was “Seen” by me and a “Scene” was averted.

The walk to the beach from our vacation place has gone from a fifty yard mild downhill stroll on the sand to a wandering stone path through a vastly enlarged dune to protect from the next “Super Storm.”

Personally, I think sand, no matter how high it is piled, will never stop an ocean with an attitude, but that is another issue. 

So, this morning I was returning down the path after enjoying a cup of coffee and a view of the ocean.  A young father was coming up the path with a three-year-old cute-as-a-button little girl with pink sneakers.

The little girl did not like the stony path (it really is not uncomfortable to walk on even barefoot) and was clinging to a rail and inching forward on the boards that are part of the railing structure. 

She was whiny.

Dad was encouraging her to just walk on the stones, “You will be fine honey, trust me.”

She was really whiny.

Dad assured her she would be fine and her method of forward motion would “Take forever, so come on, let’s go.”

She was extra, extra whiny.

Dad now could either pick up the little girl and carry her to the sand, encouraging future whiny behavior; yell at her and argue, which would create a stand-off he was sure to lose especially with lots of busybodies giving him the stink eye.


He just said, OK, I’ll see you down by the water.”  He turned and slowly walked away.  The little girl got upset and yelled, “Daddy!”

Daddy did not stop, he did not turn around and look, he just slowly walked down the path.

Little girl got off the wooden ledge onto the stone path and began running to Daddy.

She was not crying, the stones did not bother her, there was no tantrum, no yelling, no lecturing, no bribery offers. 

Left with no other choice, the little girl made the right decision, a decision that would not be an issue for the rest of the week or however long they were at the shore.  

She ran down the path to Daddy.

I suspect Daddy eventually gave her a big hug and the incident was over.

I wanted to give the dad a thumbs-up, but he never turned around to receive it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019



A re-run from July 2014

On the beach at Lavallette, New Jersey, I have been fascinated watching the Ospreys.  Ospreys are large raptors.  They live on a diet of 99 percent fish.  I used to see them a lot while visiting my parent’s home on the Eastern Shore Md., but have not seen them on the Jersey Shore until this year.

What has struck me while watching these birds is the patience they have, and also the boredom that is their existence.  It is not much different from most wild creatures, but just more obvious while observing their behavior.

I worked a fairly boring job for 40 years.  Up early, drive to the train, get to work, work, catch the train home, eat, play with kids, sleep and start over.  At least I had a change of pace on weekends and vacations.

The Osprey and his mate are up early every morning.  They fish nonstop until sundown, constantly soaring over the ocean up and down the coast.  They do not stop.  They have little ospreys to feed.  I seldom see them dive for fish.  In two weeks I have seen them dive 5 times and catch 4 fish.  They are good, but sometimes they miss.  I’m sure they have caught more fish without me watching, but trust me they are patient.

The ospreys get no sick days, no mental health days, no vacation days, they just fish every day and if they do not catch any fish they will die.   I used to think I was pressured to work, but if I missed a day, my children would not starve.  The osprey must catch fish.

I have been watching a pair of ospreys for two weeks.  Today there were five.  I think the babies are out of the nest.  They are learning to fish.  They better learn fast.  Their skill is considerable and if they do not learn, they will die.  Fish, catch, or starve.

Sitting on the beach watching, I think my life is pretty good.

Sunday, June 23, 2019


About to start our vacation down at the beautiful Jersey Shore, I needed cash.  I stopped at the bank and waited for the outside ATM machine.  There was only one person there, so I waited under a short overhang out of the rain.

And waited.

And waited.

Tick tock, tick tock…I wasn’t in a hurry, but holy cow, how long does it take at an ATM machine.  Punch in a code, pick an option, press a button and take your cash.

And waited.

It was at least ten minutes.  This dude was punching numbers on his phone punching something on the ATM, taking money from the machine, putting money back in the machine, punching something on his phone, do it over again…

And waited.

Finally, after about 15 minutes, which is seven and a half hours in ATM machine waiting time, the dude was done.

Eleven seconds later I had my cash and was on the way home.

We left for the shore and in less than an hour we were at our house (room off the garage of Mrs. C’s Aunt’s house).  We opened the front door, but there were two locks.  We only had a key for one lock.  Mrs. C got on the phone and we waited.

Left a voice mail.

And waited.

We finally got a call back and were given the code to the garage door.  It did not work; sea air and electronics do not do well together.

“Maybe Cousin Mike will have an answer.” We were told.

We waited to hear from Cousin Mike.

And waited.

Cousin Mike did have an answer.  It was a really funny solution that if I posted about it, I would be fed to the sharks. 

Really funny story.

Cannot tell it.


So, we moved into our home by the ocean, unpacked and before we left for dinner and food shopping I had to test the TV cable hook up.

The box said “booting”, then “Hold”, then “Hold”, then “Hold”.  This was No Bueno.

Called the Cable people and after all kinds of checking and questions it was determined our cable box was fried, probably from a recent storm.

Get a new box at the cable store in the morning.

Mrs. C and I do not do well without TV.  I could watch the Yankee game on the computer and then had to…Gasp…read.

Oh well, the next morning we went to the store and waited in a short line to get the new box.

And waited.

And waited.

This one dude was at the desk forever.  He kept asking questions, signing stuff, asked more questions, signed more stuff, read over twenty pages of instructions/ contracts…

We had to put quarters in to our parking meter three times.

And waited.

Finally, he was done and about seventeen seconds later we had our new box and we were headed home.

The new box worked.  We headed for the beach.  

No more waiting. 

We then heard from a very close friend who has gone through some difficult health procedures recently.  All was well, except there was a set- back possibly unrelated to the previous issue.

He was in the ER, waiting for some maybe very scary results. 

His wife is an absolute wreck waiting for the results.

And waiting.

What the Hell was I complaining about?

Saturday, June 22, 2019



This week's stupid headlines, and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.

Alabama man allegedly fed 'attack squirrel' meth to keep it aggressive – Poor man’s pit-bull!

Missouri teen 'felt God' save him in 50-foot-drop off cliff – If he was a really good Christian, maybe God would have stopped him before he fell.

Millennials, Gen Zers opt out of deodorant use – Most deodorants stink, if you bathe regularly, and do not have a persistent perspiration problem, then these young people are right on!

Marilyn Monroe statue stolen from atop Hollywood art space – I’ve got the headline for when the crooks are caught, “Bust of busts thieves are busted!”

US-China trade war could lead to shortage on Bibles – Really? That is what we need to worry about with a trade war?  There is a Bible in every hotel/motel room in the country and about 99% have never been opened!

NHL star wants to return for 22nd season: 'I got nothing else going on' – I feel the same way about blogging.

New Jersey man arrested after calling 911 to complain about bar banning – When a bar bans you, you just might have a drinking problem.  Dialing 911 to complain about it when you are drunk pretty much confirms it.

Gun-wielding Alabama granny held wanted man at gunpoint – A Jersey Grandma would have held him at bay with cookies and milk.

Bank of America CEO says company wants a ‘cashless society’ – Unfortunately they are off to a good start with me.

Woman released from jail locks herself in stairwell for 2.5 days after getting lost – Not so great an escape.

Nigerian investigators dismiss wild reports rogue gorilla ate $22G in cash at zoo – I suspect it was the Prince that keeps emailing me.

Feel-Good Headline of the Week:

103-year-old runner Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins breaks new record – I’ve got to get to the gym!

GO Hurricane GO!!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Little League Base-Brawl

Little League Base-Brawl

The other day, I was searching for some stupid headlines for my Stupid Headline Sunday post, when I ran across this beauty:

Parents brawl over a 13-year-old umpire's call at Little League game

The story is here:

I have been a Little League Parent, a Pop Warner Parent, and a soccer dad.  I have seen parents screaming during games, I have seen them yell at officials, I may have even participated in such behavior myself.

Seriously, some of these youth games are pretty important.  There are town championships at stake, bragging rights, and sometimes the chance to go further in a major tournament.

If an official misses a call, it could affect your child’s life for oh, maybe...until the next game.  This is important stuff, so when I saw this headline I understood where these parents were coming from. 

I did think it was going a bit overboard to be fighting with a 13-year-old umpire.  Even if he missed a call or did not understand a rule, how much experience could this child have as an umpire…less than 13 years, that’s for sure. 

He probably is paid as much as $15 to umpire.  Not enough to make him fair game for parent’s ire, no matter how important the game.

Then I read that the game in question was for 7-year-olds. 

Seven-year-olds for crap sake!

Seven-year-olds should probably not even be playing baseball.  Hell, only about one in ten kids that age can catch a ball without flinching. They can barely throw, few can hit the ball even when placed on a tee, and many run the wrong way when they do hit it.

A home-run for a seven-year-old is pretty much any ball in play where the hitter does not stop running!

What call could a 13-year-old umpire make that would alter the result of such a game, and what parent who has ever watched a real game of baseball could possibly give a flying crap?

These parents didn’t just yell and throw a tantrum, they came to blows.  Some people were seriously hurt.  There are arrests pending.

All over a 13 YO umpire’s call in a game played by seven-year-olds that stop to pick daisies while fielding ground balls.

I used to play baseball when I was nine or ten.  We met other kids at the park.  We chose sides and played until dinner time. 

There were no parents involved.

There was no umpire.  Tie went to the runner, and “One, two, three shoot” decided all other issues.  If the score was lopsided, team changes were made on the fly to make things fair.  Most scores were usually about 93-89.

I do not remember the police ever being called.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Married at First Sight

Married at First Sight
The new season of this train wreck reality TV show is starting.

“Married At First Sight”, where four couples are chosen by three relationship experts to be married without ever meeting. 

“Why”, you ask, “Do I watch a train wreck reality TV show?”

Because it is a train wreck reality TV show, why else? 

I make no claim to having any class.  My cable company does not, to my knowledge even carry PBS.


One of the things I love about this show is the three experts who sort through hundreds of applicants seeking to make perfect matches.  They seem to have the theory that physical attraction is not important, nor are certain habits or behavior. 

They believe they have a perfect match because both applicants think family is important, they like children and they both bathe at least once a week.

Well that sure narrows down the field!

The experts believe that any couple can grow to love each other if they learn to “Communicate” and don’t “Put up walls.”

How is that working for them? 

They have in several seasons matched up about 20 couples.  Five couples have stayed together.  I don’t think a 25% rate is particularly impressive, especially for “Experts” matching up people who REALLY, REALLY want to be married!

I am not an expert, but I take one look at these couples and can tell instantly which ones will fail simply because there is no way they could have physical attraction.  The experts think physical attraction is only superficial…OK, sometimes, but it is a damn good start.
I had a hunch this match with Captain Obvious wood not work.

One year the experts matched an obvious pot-head with someone who only admitted to being tolerant of the weed.  It would not have taken much digging to find out this guy loved his weed, one look at his droopy eyes and both Mrs. C and I said,

“I hope she likes dope, cause this guy smokes A LOT!”

That match lasted about three weeks.

Last year the experts made the minor mistake of matching a gay man with a heterosexual woman.  Talk about not having a physical attraction!

Once again, after the first episode, Mrs. C said, “Is it me, or is the guy gay?”

I wasn’t sure until the next week when the guy refused to kiss his new wife because it made him feel “hollow inside” …and his wife was very, very attractive!  Surprise, that match ended in a divorce.

It should be an interesting season.  So far, they have matched a five- foot nothing woman with a six-foot eight basketball player.  It could work, but logistically there may be some issues. 

Oh yeah one of the women is a 30-year-old virgin.  What could go wrong?

Charley Bird

Charley Bird
I’ve written about Charley Bird in my spent-my-own-money, self-published book, “Maybe It’s Just Me.” But if you have not bought the book, and I highly recommend that you do not. You can read about this wonderful bird right here.

The other day I posted that people have basically one of two pets, a dog or a cat.  Well years ago, we had a bird.  Pop brought home a parakeet, as a present for my mom.  He was named Charley Bird.

Charley Bird was a most remarkable bird.  He had an assortment of toys which he played with when he was out of his cage, and he was out of his cage often. 

He flew around the house and loved talking to himself while staring in a mirror.  If you wanted to get Charley Bird back into his cage, you messed with the squeaky toy inside his cage.  Charley was very protective of his cage and would fly instantly and climb back in.

Did I say Charley Bird would talk to himself? 

Oh, yes, this bird could talk.  He had at least one hundred phrases that my mom carefully taught him.

“Good morning.”

“Hello, my name is Charley Bird.”

“Hello sweet little bird.”

“I love you.”

Mom would have Charley Bird sit on her shoulder while doing the dishes and other chores.  Charley would get up close to her mouth as she repeated a new phrase for him to learn.

Now Charley was really cool, but I wanted Mom to teach him more masculine sounding phrases.

Before I left for college one year I suggested to my Mom.

“Teach him something parrot-like…maybe… ‘Awk, Awk, Pieces of eight!’”

“Oh, like a pirates parrot?”

“Yeah, that would be cool.”

So Mom decided to teach Charley Bird this new phrase. 

Now Mom somehow thought Charley Bird needed to hear perfect diction when learning a new phrase, and she spoke very slowly like you would to anyone who did not know the language.  

This bird could learn and imitate the sound of a spoon dropping, but mom was convinced that to learn a new phrase she needed to speak slowly and with perfect diction.

I returned home for Thanksgiving Vacation anxious to here Charley Bird speak his new, cool, pirate accented  “Awk, Awk, pieces of eight!”

Instead I heard this, in a clear slow sweet perfect diction mom-voice,

“A  w  k.   A  w  k.    p I e c es.    o f.    e I g h t.”

Mom was very proud of Charley Birds new phrase.  At first I was disappointed, but he was mom’s bird, and I grew to prefer Charley’s slow sweet perfect diction mom-voice delivery. 

Mom was not a pirate.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A Brand-New Car!

A Brand-New Car!
When did getting a new car become so blasé?  Oh, sure it is exciting for the new car purchaser, but no one else cares any more.  It wasn’t that way when I was a kid.  A new car used to generate great excitement.

New cars today do not generate any excitement.  Your next door neighbor might make a casual comment about your shiny new ride, but that is about it.

It may be because all cars today look the same. All have most of the same fancy gadgets and add-ons.  In fact, they are not add-ons at all, virtually everything comes with the car whether you want it or not.

Today, when you buy a new car, you go to the dealer after shopping on- line to decide which model you want.  You then take whatever is the closest fit on the lot.  There is not the same kind of excitement built up from anticipation as there was in the good old days.

The few new cars my Pop ever bought were ordered from the local dealer.  There were days of choosing interior and exterior colors, automatic or manual transmission.  Brakes, steering, and windows were either power or manual.  There were options like a radio, extra chrome, whitewall tires and even fake spokes.  Once ordered, the car would not be delivered for several weeks if not months.

Cars in those days could be identified by grill and fins from hundreds of yards away.  The design was changed every year so a new car stuck out.  Children could identify the make and model of every car for the last 10 years…of course there were only about eight brands and they each had one model, four door or sedan, hard top of convertible, and maybe a station wagon.

Neighbors were alerted of the pending arrival of a new car.  When it finally arrived, it was instantly surrounded by everyone on the block.  The men would pop the hood and stare at the engine while the new owner bragged about the engines power.  There was talk of straight eights, turbo something and super glide.  No one knew what any of it meant, but there were nods feigning mechanic expertise and admiration.

The engine was fired up and it always “purred like a kitten.”

Women gushed about loving that “new car smell”, the roomy glove box and the comfortable seats.

Then there was the trunk.  The trunks on the old new cars were huge, and bragging about the size was a requirement.

“Look at the size of this trunk, you could fit five suit cases, three beach chairs and a beach umbrella and still have room to spare.”

Loose change was tossed in the back seat for luck.

A family’s status was often based on the age and model of your car.  A Ford or Chevy did not carry as much status as a Lincoln or especially a Cadillac, still, all new cars were revered.

Those old cars may not have been as efficient as today, did not have the fancy features as today, did not ride or handle as nicely as today, but they sure did bring “oohs and ahs” from everyone on the block…and oh, the size of those trunks!


Monday, June 17, 2019


 Today the way-back machine goes to June 2013

A blog/Facebook friend recently commented that she just saw Fireflies for the first time in her life.  This friend has moved in the last few years from England, to California, and then to Arkansas. 

Fireflies are so common here in the Northeast; it was hard to imagine that anyone has never seen them.   Then I remembered the first time I saw “lightning bugs.”  I lived in Southern California from age 4 to 8.  When we moved back east my first firefly sighting was exciting. 

We captured them and put them in a jar with holes punched in the cap to create a living flashlight.  I think we later released them but I don’t remember…let’s just say that we did. The sight of thousands of fireflies in the trees at night is a truly spectacular sight that we often take for granted.

How many other marvels of nature do we gloss over until someone points them out? When I returned “back east” at eight years old, I also remember my first serious snow fall. People often dread the snow.  I still am fascinated by it.  A good snow storm makes me feel young again.  I go right back to those days of listening to WOR and John Gambling, praying to hear that my school was closed for the day.  I love to look out at the street light at night during a big storm and watch the snow fall while I am safe and warm inside.  It is hard to imagine that some people have never experienced snow.

There is so much in life that I have not seen.  The Aurora Borealis, an eclipse of the Sun, elephants in the wild, a painted bunting, a Super Bowl Game from the fifty yard line, a wood duck, and lately my toes in the shower.  Sometimes we need to stop and enjoy the wonders we do get to experience every year that many people only dream about. 

Like a good snow fall in January.


Fireflies in June.