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Friday, January 31, 2020



As often happens when I am lacking material on which to post, a fellow blogger’s post gets me fired up.  In this case it was that lovely lady  blogger Arkansas Patti.

Patti complained that her winters were snowless.  She loves the snow and asked her readers about their feelings for the cold white stuff.

Almost all of the comments she received were along the lines of

“You can have my snow, I hate the stuff!” 

Some people admitted to liking the first few flakes but then hated the stuff and all the problems it brings.

I contend that snow is just one of those things you are supposed to claim you hate.  It is socially incorrect to not hate snow. 

Better to remain a closet snow lover than upsetting someone who does not like the stuff.  If Gallop took a pole on like/dislike snow it would be 80/20 against.  If there was an anonymous vote, it would be 80/20 in favor!

Now I have to admit that sometimes snow can be inconvenient, especially getting to work or causing a change of plans.  Shoveling the stuff can be difficult.  Slipping in it is an issue, and getting stuck in traffic or a snow drift while on the road is aggravating.  In some instances getting caught in a storm off guard is dangerous.

Still, all things considered, I love the snow.  

Lately in my area of “North Central South Jersey” we have had almost no good snow falls in the last few years.  DAMN that global warming!

All the disagreeable things related to snow are cancelled out by it’s wonder.  A good snow turns a humdrum brown landscape into a magical winter wonderland.  Children’s eyes grow with excitement during a good snow. 

My memories of a good snow are of watching it slam by the streetlight at night and hoping for a no-school snow day in the morning.

I even liked getting out in the morning and clearing the driveway and walk (hey, I was once young and strong) sometimes even helping out neighbors…if they offered a dollar, so much the better. 

A good snow storm brings out the best in people.  There is a certain comradery in everyone sharing the same inconvenience and also the same joy that a good storm brings.

On a  normal day walking around my neighborhood people do not say hello, they just go about their way, not in an unfriendly way, just in a minding ones own business kind of way.

After a good storm strangers wave to each other.  They stop and chat.  They sometimes offer to help.  

Ah, snow…sledding down a hill, building a fort or a snowman, snowball fights, skiing, just the memory of these things makes me smile.

Most people moan and complain about how much they hate the snow.

I believe many secretly love and enjoy all that it brings…they are just afraid to say it out loud.

Some readers may disagree.  They will comment that they genuinely hate the snow with a passion. 

I hear you, I understand…(wink, wink!)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020



When I run out of any material to blog about, I turn to the old standby, a list of the ten best anything.  Everyone likes to chime in and add an anything and or complain about one of my best ten anything’s.  So, prepare to disagree with

Cranky’s best TV Sit-coms ever!

One of my criteria for a best ten, is does the show stand up to today’s humor?  For instance, one of the best TV comedies ever was “All in the Family.”  This was a “Do not miss” show back in the day.  Through the miracle of cable TV, I have watched many episodes lately.  They disappoint greatly.  I’m not sure why, perhaps much of the cutting  edge topics of  the time are now just ho-hum.

Anyway, sorry “All in the Family” good stuff but much of it does not stand up today.

Another excellent TV sit-com is off the list because I just can not watch Bill Cosby.  For years I was a big fan of his magnificent comedic style and for his overall persona and values.  What a disappointment!  I cannot eat Jell-O and I cannot watch re-runs of “The Cosby Show.”

Now for the list in no particular order:

1.     Phil Silver “You’ll Never Get Rich.” This one is not found often on cable, but it is not to be missed on those rare occasions it is on.  Regulars on the show later appeared in hits “Car 54 Where Are You” and “The Munsters.”

2.    OK, while I’m at it, “The Munsters.”  While “You’ll Never Get Rich” relied on the quick wit and talent of Phil Silvers as a conniving Army Sargent,  “The Munsters” was just silly, ridiculous schtick.  Turns out, I am a big fan of silly, ridiculous schtick.

3.    “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” had brilliant writing, fun situations and Mary Tyler Moore was a great comedian who played off Ed Asner’s Lou Grant perfectly.  Mary got her start on “The Dick Van Dyke Show", which was like “All in the Family” great in its time but somehow does not hold up today.

4.    “Leave it to Beaver” was not pee your pants funny, but it had a charm that puts it in my top 10.  After about season four, it does go downhill, it was best when The Beaver was cute.

5.    “Cheers” Great show, great chemistry between the characters.

6.    “The King of Queens” Great writing, great chemistry again and Kevin James is one of those comedians who is funny just chewing gum.

7.    “Two and a Half Men” Very funny, great writing, great situations.  Charlie Sheen basically plays his real life debaucherous self, and no one could do it better. 

8.    “The Office” Maybe it is because I worked in an office for so many years, I connect with many of these characters.  Slightly exaggerated, but then that is comedy.

At this point I must interject, I seldom watch the so called regular networks these days, so I do not see many shows until they hit cable re-runs.

9.    “Tool Time” Tim Allen does a brilliant  bumbling opposite take off of “This Old House” star Bob Villa, who often makes guest appearances.  This show also makes my list as I have a long time crush on his TV wife Patricia Richardson.  Also the original “Tool Time Girl” was Pam Anderson so…

10.                       “Mom” Still on regular network TV, but also all over on cable re-runs.  Truly many laugh out-loud's in every episode.  A bunch of ex-drunk, ex-drug addicted ladies trying to live a normal life and struggle with the most difficult issues and finding humor in it all…what is not to like?

That’s it, Cranky’s top ten TV sit-coms.  If I wrote this list next week it would probably change a bit, but this is it today.

Agree/disagree? Have at it!

What?  "The Honeymooners" and "I love Lucy"? OK, 11 and 12.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Phone Panic

Phone Panic

I wonder if I am the only one who panics when I am without my cell phone.  There is no reason to get antsy without the phone, after all I spent over 30 years of my adult life without a cell phone.

Just yesterday as I was on my way to the gym, about half way, maybe four miles from home, I realized I forgot my cell phone.  I almost turned back to retrieve it but thought how silly, for years I lived without a cell phone and it never bothered me. 

Why do I really need it anyway?  

If someone is trying to reach me they can leave a message and I will see it when I do get home in a bit over an hour.  Years ago, if I was away, people could not even leave me a message.

I could have some kind of emergency or a car problem where I would want to call Mrs. C for help.  No problem, if that did happen, and in the last 50 years it has never happened, but if it did, I could just walk to the nearest gas station and call from there.

Wait…I don’t know Mrs. C’s cell number.  That would be unheard of in the old days, but these days all my numbers are in the phone.  I never dial them.  I’m pretty sure that if I used a gas station phone or borrowed a strangers cell, asking the phone to “Call Karen” would not work very well.

I could call my own cell that I left at home, I do know that number, but would my wife pick it up?  Half the calls we get are bogus robocalls, if we don’t know the number we usually will not pick up.  Often we even block the number.

I guess I could call 911 for help.

“911, what is your emergency?”

“Ah, I left my phone at home and need to call my wife.”

“That does not sound like an emergency sir.”

“Well my car broke down and I need a lift, I am 4 miles from home.”

“Sir, that is hardly an emergency.  If you don’t hang up we can send a squad car, but I don’t think you would like where they take you.”


Besides, how would 911 find my wife's cell number?

Then I thought, if I really needed the home number it is on my phone app screen in the car.  When ever I do call from the car or get a call, the number is displayed.  I checked the phone app menu to see.

Duh!  The menu gets it’s information from the Bluetooth connection to my phone which is at home and out of reach.

“Damn” I realized, “now I am forgetful and stupid!”

I continued to the gym.  I never felt comfortable until after I finished my workout and finally got home.

First thing I did was write down a few numbers on a sheet of paper, fold the paper up and put it in my billfold which I never leave without.*

Of course, when I got home Mrs. C had to ask if I got her text to pick up some eggs at the supermarket.  She asked with my phone in her hand,  always a ball buster.

*I know and I don't care, "Without which I never leave"  sounds stupid.  No one talks that way and the whole preposition at the end of a sentence rule is false.  If people can "conversate" I can end a sentence with a preposition.

From Google:

Ending a sentence with a preposition such as "with," "of," and "to", is permissible in the English language. There are theories that the false rule originates with the early usage guides of Joshua Poole and John Dryden, in trying to align the language with Latin, but there is no reason to suggest ending a sentence with a preposition is wrong. Nonetheless, the idea that it is a rule is still held by many.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Losing it Again

Losing it Again
Last week I spent a half hour looking for a pocketful of screws that I had just 2 minutes earlier put in a baggy and taped it to pieces of the storm door I just removed.  It’s a long story told last week; I’m not telling it again.

Anyway, it made me wonder if my mind was frazzled.

Yesterday I lost my car key fob.  Now losing your car keys is pretty easy.  People do it all the time.  Come home, get distracted and drop your keys someplace that you normally do not and bingo! they are lost.

This was different.  I lost them after I came home from the gym.

I got out of the car and went to push the car door button that locks the car, as I did that, I patted my pocket to feel the keys, a habit I have developed for some unknown reason. 

They were not there!

This car is one where you start it by pushing a button, lock it by pushing a button, open it by just grabbing the handle.  As long as the key fob is within a few feet of the car, like in you pocket, the door opens, the car starts or the door locks.

Clearly, I did not leave my keys at the gym or I could not have started the car.  I checked all my pockets.  I checked my gym bag.  I checked the seat and the floor.  I checked everywhere in the car including places that made no sense, like the glove box.  I checked under all the seats.

How the heck could I not find the key fob, it was clearly within a few feet of the car when I started it at the gym?  Maybe I started the car and then the fob fell out of my pocket back in the gym parking lot.


I turned the car off, then pushed the button and it started.  The fob has to be in the car.

I went in the house screaming that the key fob was lost.

“How could it be lost; it has to be in the car or you could not have started it?”

“I don’t have it and I checked everywhere in the car and it is not there either!”

“Take a flashlight and check under the driver’s seat.  It must have fallen out of your pocket and slipped between the seat and the consol.”

“I checked under that seat twice!”

“Check again.”

“OK, but it is not there, it’s a mystery.  The fob just vanished!”

I took the flashlight, went back out and peered under the seat. 

In the nook of the black seat runner under the seat, the flashlight made out the shape of the black fob.

Mystery solved.  Relief!

Except now I had to endure the dreaded “I told you so!”

Sunday, January 26, 2020



They say 60 is the new fifty.  Then fifty used to be fricking old.  I’m seventy-three and without looking in the mirror there are many signs that I am getting old:

I used to think about sex every 10 minutes; now I have to be reminded once a week.

I used to root for the Yankees as if my life depended on it; now I think, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the Orioles won for a change.” (I KNOW!)

I used to play and practice golf at every chance I had; now it’s “maybe tomorrow.”

I used to want a fast boat, a sports car, a big house, and a ton of money; now I think all of that would involve a lot of work.

I used to want to spend more time with my kids; now an hour with a grandchild will do.

I used to wake up raring to go; now, I wake up needing to go.

I used to think new stuff was really cool; now new stuff pisses me off.

I used to get all riled up over politics; now I figure it’s someone else’s problem.

I used to bowl a lot and I hated the 10 pin; OK that hasn’t changed.

I used to think 21 was young; now a young person is anyone under 45.

I think that Meryl Streep is hot; while Lindsey Lohan is a snot.

I used to invest based on potential for big gains; now high interest rates and big dividends get me excited.

Everywhere I go I see buildings that “Used to be” something else.

When they play “Oldies but Goodies” I’ve never heard of them.

The last thing that makes me positive that I am getting old is….ah…I’ll get back to you on that one.
Re-run from September 2014.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Brush With Fame

Brush With Fame

Have you ever met a famous person?  Had an encounter with a celebrity?  If you did, were you all goose-bumpy about the encounter? 

Fame is funny.  What makes a person famous, what makes them special?  This cranky old man may not be famous or special, but I have had encounters with celebrities.  Why I am practically a celebrity myself just from these personal contacts with fame.
On my fifth birthday, I got a radio acknowledgement from the Uncle Bobo show!

Not impressed.  OK I understand…How about:

At the age of eleven I got a personally autographed copy of the “Mickey Mantle Story” by…that’s right, The Mick himself!

That book was stolen in the dead of night by FREDDY DERODA!! The little prick…but no, I do not hold grudges.

Not impressed? OK.

In high school, I played football against Vic Washington, a future all-pro running back with the SF 49er’s.  I almost even tackled him once…well I got an arm on him anyway…slowed him down a bit.

No big deal?  OK.

In college the president of my fraternity was a member of the rock group “The Cyrcle.”  He quit to become a surgeon before the hit single “Red Rubber Ball” but still…

Yeah, so?  OK, I get it.

In college several of my friends and I got in a fight with some local Easton, Pa. kids.  I’m pretty sure I got punched in the belly and almost knocked out by future heavyweight champion of the world Larry Homes!

Well he may just have been a big black kid from Easton named Larry, but I’m pretty sure it was Larry Homes.

Not impressed?

OK, how about this…I was once asked for directions in downtown NYC from Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan and author of “Sex and the Single Girl.”

Well I though it was a big deal.

In NYC, I once bumped into Curtis Sliwa.  What?  The founder of the “Guardian Angles” in NYC…later a radio personality…never heard of him? OK.

My son played baseball with Tim Howard’s brother.  The US soccer goalie…star in several World Cups?  I once bought him a hot dog.

OK, not a big deal.

Wait…Ever heard of Melissa Gorga from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” TV fame?
Melissa and Cranky

If that is not a brush with fame, I don’t know what is!

Anyone else have a brush with fame to top that of this Cranky Old Man?

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A Blog About Nothing

A Blog About Nothing


A lot of Yada, yada, yada!

I got up this morning at the crack of dawn then rolled over and slept some more until nine.

“Damn, I missed ‘Leave it to Beaver’ which one was it today?”

“Miss Landers goes to a bbq at the Cleavers.”

“Oh, that’s a good one.  Who’s on Perry Mason this morning?”

“Patty Dukes father.”

“He’s in a lot of them.  I’m going to make breakfast, you want anything.”

“No, I’m good.”

Down stairs I turn on the news to see if Trump is still President, start brewing some coffee, fry up some bacon and poach an egg which goes over ½ an English Muffin.

After breakfast I go upstairs to check my computer.

“What happened with Perry? I’ll bet he got a court room confession.”

“Yup, the maid did it, she cracked on the stand.”

“Biggest waste of time ever, being on a jury on a Perry Mason trial.”

“What is new in the world?”

“Nothing, Trump is still President.  Earth is getting warmer and the market is up.”

“So, no change.”

“Well, sometimes the market is down.  I’m going to the basement to play guitar and practice putting, check my computer and watch TV.”

“OK, I’m going to take a nap.”

At three Mrs. C leaves for work.

I prepare a steak, and start the grill at 4:30.

Dinner after five; steak, peas, seltzer.  Then coffee and “Little Bites” coffee cakes for dessert.

After dessert, it is down to the basement, more guitar, TV, maybe read blogs, try to write a post, and or take a nap.

Back upstairs at 7:30 watch TV and surf computer.

Mrs. C is home at nine.  We watch TV, and play computer games.  We turn in at 1:00 after Steve Harvey and “Family Feud.”

“Good night.”

“What’s up for tomorrow?”

“Same, maybe also go to the gym and then the store.”

“Better get some rest then.”

“Tell me about it!”




Monday, January 20, 2020




 In high school I was on the wrestling team.  I was not particularly good and I did not like the sport, but the football coach was also the wrestling coach and he wanted his football players to also wrestle.  He thought it would give his players more speed and endurance.  It was probably the reason our football team was not very big.

While other kids used the off season to rest up and put on weight, wrestlers fought to “make weight” or lose pounds in order to compete in a lower weight class.  Working out in sweats in a 90 degree gym and feasting on carrot sticks and celery during the teen years probably resulted in stunted growth for several of our football players. 

I never wrestled higher than junior varsity and my record was about 50/50.  I generally won by a pin, or lost by a pin; I just did not have the stamina to go the full nine minutes of a three period match.  Much as I despised wrestling it did provide some good stories.

In one tournament I was matched against a kid from Hunterdon Central, a known New Jersey wrestling powerhouse school at the time.  I expected a tough match and was surprised to find from the very start that my opponent was not a very good wrestler.  At the referees first whistle I had this kid on his back. 

He was not an experienced wrestler, but he was a tough competitor and would not give in to a pin.  He bridged (arching ones back while lifting your shoulders off the mat to avoid being pinned) the entire first period.  During the whole time I had him in a near pin, there was a loud clear voice from the thin crowd exhorting him to avoid defeat.

“Bridge Tommy bridge…move Tommy move…fight Tommy, move…bridge Tommy bridge.”

This voice did not stop for the whole first period as I attempted to pin my man.  In the second period I once again took down my inexperienced but gutsy opponent and had him on his back in a near pin situation.  The voice from the crowd rang out loud and clear once again.

“Bridge Tommy bridge…move Tommy move…fight Tommy, move…bridge Tommy bridge.”

For almost three minutes the voice did not stop rooting this kid on, and in turn he refused to be pinned.

The third period was more of the same.  I had “Tommy” on his back, and the voice from the crowd could not be missed.

“Bridge Tommy bridge…move Tommy move…fight Tommy, move…bridge Tommy bridge.”

With only seconds left in the match, my opponent’s strength finally sapped and just before he gave up and submitted to being pinned he screamed out at the top of his lungs,



As much as I hated this sport, it did teach me in later years to root for my own children silently.
Most of the time.
Re-run from January 2013

Saturday, January 18, 2020



I hate when my computer decides to update.  Why will it not just do whatever needed update it does on my schedule…like let me say “OK, but three hours from now” or “NO!, I’m happy with everything now.”


Sometimes when they update my computer I don’t like the changes.  I have to get used to a slightly different screen.  I am old, old people do not like change.

Even worse is when you need to check something quick and the machine tells you it is updating and DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER.

“Joe hurry up we are late to the movie.”

“Just give me 30 seconds, I want to check the weather for later on tonight.”

“OK, but hurry up.”




“Windows is updating.”

“So don’t worry about the weather, turn it off and lets go.”

“It warns me do not turn off the computer.”

“You don’t listen to me but you listen to the computer?”

“The computer scares me more than you do.”

“Tun it off, we’ll miss the previews and the direction for getting out of the theater if there is a fire!”

“OK, but I hope this doesn’t screw up my computer.”

When this happens, I also think about what if I REALLY needed my computer?

When I read a Dean Koontz action novel, the hero is always pulling up information from his computer remotely from his car while being chased by the bad guys.  He gets GPS information, alerts police and even hacks into traffic lights to change signals in his favor. 

Well not every book, but in a bunch.


If these novels were real, the hero would get:


That never happens.  I guess that is why they call it fiction.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Government Ceremony

Government Ceremony

Well the President of the US was impeached the other day.  I don't want to discuss or comment on the impeachment, but what I found interesting is something I’ve seen many times before and never really given it much thought.
The signing ceremony. 
Nancy Pelosi signed some historical stuff and for each letter of said signature she used a separate pen and gave each pen to a person who had, I assume, played a part in what ever led up to the historical signing.  There must have been multiple papers as I counted 33 pens.

I’ve seen this many times before, usually the President signing important legislation.  Multiple pens on a silver platter and souvenirs handed out to prominent people.  Probably costs the taxpayers an extra couple of hundred dollars, not even a whisper of moisture in the bucket, and makes for a nice ceremony rewarding people for a lot of hard work passing the measure.

What caught my attention as I watched this time, and for some reason never thought of before was…WOW!  I would love to own one of those pens. 

I have a dozen ball point pens

RT-are there any other types these days?

and every time I use one, I have to first scribble on a piece of paper to get the ink moving or risk tearing up the paper I am signing.

As I watched this ceremony, I envisioned them using my pens.

“And so my fellow Americans I will sign this historical document of impeachment…hmmm it does not seem to be working…(after scratching circles all over the document) FUCK!...wait, now it is working.  Hand me another pen for the next letter please.”

“Um there are 32 more letters to go Nancy.”

“Well lick the damn points, or heat the end with a match!  I can’t be scratching circles and ripping the document, the Senators will send it back!”

“Maybe you could just finish with the one pen that is working.  When you are done, we can mix all the pens in a hat and hand them out so everyone can claim that they may have the actual signing pen.”

“That would not be acting very Congressionally!”


Every pen worked right away.  No scratching licking of heating needed.  It all went smoothly without a hitch.  For 33 pens, that is impressive.

It gave me hope.  It is comforting to know that government officials can do something smoothly.

Our government representatives can sign stuff without a hitch and in my experience, that is quite an accomplishment.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Sorry Wrong Number

Sorry Wrong Number

The other day I got a wrong number call.  I only picked up the caller whose number I did not recognize because they called twice in short succession. 

RT - Why do we say “they” called?  It is almost always only one person on the other line.  Why do we say line, most calls today are cellular?)

It dawned on me that I could not remember the last time I have received a wrong number call.

It used to be fun to toy with wrong number callers, when they were persistent, and they generally did call back, as they did not know if they were given the wrong number or if they dialed incorrectly.

See blogger friend Victor

“Is Frank there?”

“Still no.”


“Just a minute…’FRANK!’...he does not seem to be here, probably as I live alone.”

Sometimes the caller used to get angry that you were not the person he wanted.

“Sorry there is no Frank here.”

“Are you sure, he gave me this number?”

“I’m positive.”

“Why would he give me this number?”

“I don’t know.”

“DAMN! click


“Sorry, no Frank here I think you have a wrong number.”

“What number is this?”

“The number you dialed twice.”

“Is this 908-555-0123.”


“I must have been given the wrong number.”


“ click “

I think we no longer get wrong numbers because people do not just give their number to others verbally, they just call the person and say,

“There, now you have my number.” 

Incorrect redial errors are thus not even possible.

Also today all incoming numbers are displayed.  If I don’t know the number I seldom even pick up as most are robocalls and if it is an important message, they can leave that important message after the beep.

As much as I don’t miss “wrong numbers” they were better than the humpy-million robocall and telemarketers we get today.

For sure I don’t miss being on the wrong end of a wrong number, and being just as stupid as the guy above asking for Frank.  It was always really embarrassing, and annoying when the receiver would play games at your expense. 

Yes, karma was a bitch!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


I love texting.  Not so much love as prefer texting to a phone call and talking.  I do not like talking on the phone.  It interrupts my watching PBS on the TV I should probably sell because TV is such a horrible thing.


I like texting.  My biggest issue with texting is my fat fingers and the tiny texting letters on the phone.  I often make mistakes and do not notice until just before I hit send.  In order to correct the mistake, I have to backspace all the way to my mistake and start typing over.  A long text can take forever with all my corrections.


I read somewhere how to press one function and simply drag your cursor to the letter you wish to correct.  Unfortunately I forgot the key to press and where I read about it.

Yesterday I was sending a text and remarked to Mrs. C,



“I made a texting mistake and now I have to go back and start all over.  I just read how to drag the cursor where you want it, but I forget how to do it.”

“Drag the cursor?”

“Yeah, so I don’t have to backspace all over the rest of my text.”

“Why would you backspace over your text?”

“To get back to where I made the mistake.”

“Why don’t you just tap the screen where you made the mistake so the cursor returns to where you tap?”

“You can do that?”

“Ah yeah…DUH!”

If you are a jerk, It helps having a wife who knows stuff!

Even better, just found this: 

Simply hold down your finger over the text field, and this magnifying glass will pop up. While still holding your finger down, drag the magnifying glass that shows your cursor to the exact place you want and then release. Once it's there, you can add or delete something. Just that quick.