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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Home Job Descriptions

Home Job Descriptions

One thing becomes clear when you live with just one person, each person has specific jobs that they are accountable for (I don’t care what your eighth grade teacher taught you, “for which you are accountable” just sounds ridiculous!).

I am the only coffee drinker in the house, several cups a day.  We keep the coffee in a normal sized tin, and we have several huge cans of Kirkland coffee in the pantry.  I use coffee-mate in my coffee which we also keep in a normal sized container and have a huge reserve container in the pantry.

I am the only one to use the coffee or the coffee-mate, and yet I never refilled the small containers when they get low.  It is just not my job.  There was no reason for this, we didn’t take a vote, it just is Mrs. C’s job.  I once tried to refill the coffee and was told,

“Stop, that’s my job!” 

There are a lot of such silly home chores like this.  Chores that anyone could do, but only one person does.

I unload the dishwasher.  She loads the dishes.  When I load any dishes, she redoes my loading.  She will not, however load the flatware.  I find hers in the sink.

“You load the dishes, why don't you load the flatware?”

“Because you complain how I load the flatware, it interferes with your unloading. I load the dishes because you don’t know how.  You’re a man, no man knows how to load a dishwasher; I think it’s in the Bible.”

Yeah, she’s right.

At night, it is my job to turn out the front light.  Mrs. C works three nights a week and comes home at 9 or ten.  She could turn out the light when she comes home, but no, it is my job.  At 10:30 I go downstairs to get a refill of water and turn out the light.  If I forget I am scolded.

It is Mrs. C’s job to fill the humidifier in the bed room.  It is my job to turn it on.  It is my job to turn off the light at night.  There are many such silly jobs in our house with specific responsibilities assigned for no particular rhyme or reason.

Mrs. C does the laundry. I clean the bathrooms, and vacuum the floors.

We took a vote on those chores.  It was one to one.  Apparently her one is bigger than my one.  She says that is also in the Bible.

I should have gone to Sunday School.

Monday, March 30, 2020

More Just For Laughs

More Just For Laughs

Fraternity brother Marty is still at it.  He's doing the work, I'm just posting.

Back soon with my own stuff...maybe.

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, 'Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.'    
- Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)
I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered.  But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: - 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen.
I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.
- Mark Twain
The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending;   
and to have the two as close together as possible.
- George Burns
Santa Claus has the right idea.  Visit people only once a year.
- Victor Borge
Be careful about reading health books.  You may die of a misprint.
- Mark Twain
By all means, marry.  If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one,
you'll become a philosopher.
- Socrates
I was married by a judge.  I should have asked for a jury.
- Groucho Marx
My wife has a slight impediment in her speech.  Every now and then she stops to breathe.
- Jimmy Durante
I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor
Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups:
alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.
- Alex Levine
My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.
- Rodney Dangerfield
Money can't buy you happiness .... But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
- Spike Milligan
Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was   SHUT UP   .
- Joe Namath
I don't feel old.  I don't feel anything until noon.  Then it's time for my nap.
- Bob Hope
I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
- W. C. Fields
We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
- Will Rogers
Don't worry about avoiding temptation.  As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill
Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty, but everything else starts to wear out,
fall out, or spread out.
- Phyllis Diller
By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere.
- Billy Crystal
And the cardiologist's diet:  if it tastes good spit it out.
May your troubles be less, may your blessings be more, and
may nothing but happiness come through your door.

Sunday, March 29, 2020



Covid-19 is ruining this spring.  This re-run from March 2014 is a reminder of years before the pandemic.

Spring is upon us.  Winter is putting up a battle, but spring is in the air.  I can feel it.  It may still be 32 degrees, but 32 degrees in March or April just feels much warmer than 32 degrees in January.  I can smell it.  Spring has a smell.  All the seasons smell.

Spring smells new, fresh, like a new car or like clothes fresh out of the dryer.  The flowers, the trees and the grass all emit their spring odor.  Spring smells like linseed oil on leather, it smells like baseball.  Spring smells like open windows and fresh air. 

Summer smells before it is officially upon us.  The world starts to smell slow.  Slow has a smell.  Slow smells like bacon or barbque chicken.  Summer smells slow.  The wind smells slow in summer. Summer is for resting up for what is to come.

I know when fall is near.  I don’t need a calendar, I can smell it.  Fall smells like football.  Yes, football is a smell.  It smells like change, it smells like dying…no, not dying…hibernation.  Fall smells like old air, mulching grass, browning leaves and fermenting fruit.  Fall smells like pie. 

Winter creeps up on us like no other season.  There is fall and suddenly the air is crisp and clean…not fresh like spring, but clean, almost antiseptically clean.  Winter cleanses all the smells of the other seasons.  Winter is a necessary time to rid the world of all the excesses of the other three seasons.  Winter cleanses and prepares us for spring.

Open a window.  Breathe deeply.  Can you smell it?  It may still be cold, but there is no chill.

It smells of spring.

Friday, March 27, 2020



Times Square NYC

Number one on my list is POLITICIANS SUCK!  A gazillion dollar bill to help those who are out of work to reduce the pain of the economic fall-out from Covid-19 was all but agreed upon on Sunday.  It is now Friday and it is still being delayed.  Good bill/ Bad bill?  Out of my pay grade, but something is needed and the majority of politicians are trying to put partisanship aside.
A few, however, tried with some success to slip unrelated pet projects into the bill.  I know this is common, but these times are uncommon.  When the bill was finally hammered out and passed unanimously in the Senate, one congressman decided he might throw a wrench into the process.  Too complicated for me to explain, but the bill which WILL pass in Congress, is being held up longer at the expense of several hundred thousand dollars, and bringing many hundreds of people together to vote and maybe leave infected.

I hereby offer a new award, the Cranky Flaming Asshole Award to the Republican Congressman from Kentucky, Thomas Massie.    

Congratulations Thomas Massie (R., Ky.) , you have earned it!*

Next on my list; thank you to all the hospital workers, first responders, grocery workers…everyone that is putting their health on the line to get the country through this time of near shutdown.

One more, Even though his politics have always been different than mine, and I was not a fan of his father or his brother, Fredo, I always respected NY Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Now I am especially a fan.  He has shown himself to be honest, compassionate and competent during what has to be the most trying time he has or will ever have in his life.

Social distancing; In general it seems most people are complying with social distancing and even the ill-informed are getting the message.  We have to forgive the very young (under 30) their brains have not quite yet finished evolving.

On a personal note, the Cranky’s are doing fine.  I hear from my children more often than normal, good to know they care, in turn I worry for them.  Mrs. C is in the process of cleaning out her office/hoarding room, so miracles are possible…this gives me hope for a Covid-19 resolution.

Finally, I am only 8 push-ups away from my goal, and I lost one more pound this week.  I would have lost more except for some Irish soda bread and extra good St. Joseph cannoli things from Mrs. C’s cousins bakery that I could not pass up.

Vaccaro's in Clark N.J.

Vaccaro's Diet killer, good!

Stay safe everyone, and wash your Feckin hands!

*Since this post was written, the bill passed.  Thomas Massie (R., Ky.) is still an asshole. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Quarantine With Mrs. C

Quarantine With Mrs. C

This social distancing thing is weird.  Walking to my mailbox, maybe a quarter mile, I saw no one, not one dog walker, not one car. It was a ghost complex.  I did see one “For Sale” sign.  It seems that is against HOA rules.  OMG, what a nightmare.

Except for last Friday the only person I have had any contact with is Mrs. C.  This is a test of our marriage.  My routine has been upset.  Mrs. C has not gone to work, and worse yet she has been cleaning out her office which is in the basement…my sanctuary!  Is nothing sacred?

My time has been compromised, and our togetherness has been shaky.

Apparently, I talk a lot.  Apparently, I have lots of opinions.  Apparently, I comment on TV shows a lot.  Apparently, I ask questions on TV shows because they whisper and I don’t always pay attention…a lot.

The result is I am told to “Shut up!” a lot.  When she is really annoyed, I even am told in Italian, “Stut a jeet!”  At least I am learning a new language.

I have noticed that Mrs. C gets a lot of phone calls, often from people who are not especially great friends, often very chatty not great friends. 

All I hear during these calls is Mrs. C with constant interjections of “um hum,” “really?”  “I know,” “I hate that” and “Oh WOW!”  There are a lot of “Oh WOW’s!”

After she finally hangs up I have to ask,

“What the hell, I know you weren’t interested in that call, why all the um hums and Oh WOWs’? I never get an um hum or an Oh WOW! I get shut up! or stut a jeet!

“I don’t want to be rude.”

“Well why can’t you be polite to me?”

“I don’t have to be polite to you, you’re my husband…now stut a jeet!”

I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Shredding?  What in tarnation (that word alone puts me in the virus warning group for sure) are you talking about Cranky?

If you are a guitar aficionado and you read this blog, you know I have been trying to play guitar for many years now.  You would also know that shredding refers to playing hot fast rock and roll licks on an electric guitar.

Well, that is not the type of shredding I am talking about.

I am talking about shredding papers. 
As we are holed up in the house for the time being, Mrs. C, miracle of miracles, has decided to clear out her office/hoarding room. 

She is going through boxes and boxes of papers; bank statements, appliance instructions, bills, and what not. 

My job is to shred said papers so that important valuable personal information can not be stolen when they are disposed of.

Now I really don’t think that if we toss bags and bags of papers un- shredded into the town recycle dumpster, that someone will dig through hoping to somehow raid our bank and brokerage accounts.  Is it a valid worry?  If my last name was Gates, maybe, otherwise I think we are pretty safe.

Still Mrs. C wants these papers shredded, and I am not about to discourage her de-hoarding project.  Besides, what the hell else do I have to do all day.  I Can’t bowl, I can’t play golf, the gym is closed.  I can only exercise so much at home, and I do get tired of the guitar after a few hours. 

So, shredding it is.

You think shredding is easy?  It is not.  Not for me anyway.  I would not have been much help for a panicky Bernie Madoff. 

The damn machine jams very easy and clearing a jam is a bitch.  At least  in the beginning.  I have learned how much the machine can shred at a time, how to feed it gently, when to dump the shreds and when to clear the teeth.

After much initial frustration with clogs and overflow mess I have gotten into a rhythm.  There is something therapeutic about the hum, the grinding, and the sheer destruction of a paper shredder.

I have been at it now for two days.  It will probably take a bit longer.  Mrs. C is only up to year 2004.  Sixteen years adds up to a lot of bank statements, appliance instructions, bills, and what not.

Oh well, were in lockdown.  What else am I going to do?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


I’ve always wondered what happened to the kids in eight grade that walked the halls with those white shoulder-strap-belt things.  Remember?  Hall Monitors!  Those teacher’s ass-kissing goody-two-shoe kids that told you to stop running in the halls.  The ones who ratted you out for chewing gum or smoking in the bathroom…remember them? 

Apparently, they grow up and become Home Owner Association monitors.  They are keeping my townhome safe from improper outside lights, and spitting on the street or whatever infractions in the fine print HOA rules they have to enforce.

Our home is currently within a 30-mile radius of the epicenter of the current pandemic that has halted almost all activities, shut schools and restricted all but essential businesses.

My wife and I, being in the age group that has been warned to self-quarantine, have not left the house for nine days. 

What did we just receive in an email from the HOA hall monitors?  A warning not to put up house “For Sale” signs.

Yeah, that has been my big concern these days. 

For the ten years I have lived in this area, there have always been “For Sale” signs, and I never heard a complaint.  Suddenly this is a problem?

Such a big problem that they notified EVERY homeowner, and BTW I have not seen one such sign in a long while though I’m sure a few probably exist.

Meanwhile, the HOA hall monitors in the last few years have installed around 100 signs telling dog owners to clean up after their dog.  Yes, I think people should clean up after their dog, but people who don’t clean up after their dog are not the people that obey signs…UGLY signs, at least every bit as ugly as a “For Sale” sign.

Hell, why not just put one sign at the entrance that says, “Humans live here…Behave!”

Today, while I am under self-quarantine as suggested by experts, the Governor’s request, and by state law, I was awoken by six men with blowers clearing the area of almost seventeen leaves.  Up my front and back yard, on my front stoop and on my back deck six men clearing LEAVES for crap sake.

Is this an essential service?  Leaves that have been around since after the last November clean-up now need to be blown away in the middle of a pandemic? 

Why not send the furnace inspector into our homes or the vent cleaner, or plumbers to check our sump pump?  Because…because I don’t know, but rules are rules and priorities are priorities.

Screw a pandemic virus, nothing in the bylaws about that, but we can’t have “For Sale” signs in the yard, and by damn, leaves are supposed to be cleared by May.

Thank God for the Hall Monitors.  I would never have survived eighth grade without them, and now in the middle of a PANDEMIC they are saving me from the scourge of “For Sale” signs and LEAVES!

Now I want to sell this house, just so I can put a "For Sale" sign in the yard. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Just Keep Playing

Just Keep Playing
In looking for a re-run that might have some meaning during these difficult times, I found this...not that old, From January 2019 but there is a message in there somewhere.

I have been diligently trying to learn to play guitar for almost six years.  I can play guitar, but I am still learning to play guitar.  I don’t think you ever stop learning how to play guitar.  There is always something new to learn, you can always play faster and cleaner.

The worlds greatest guitar players are probably still working on new techniques, and to improve their old techniques…always you can improve.

One improvement I have found in my playing is I am developing the ability to play on through my mistakes.  That sounds simple, but the natural inclination, for me at least, has been to stop and start over when I make a mistake.  Any error or chord out of sequence and I would get thrown off and have to start all over.  Often with an "Aw Sh*t" thrown in.

I have noticed at concerts, that the professionals do indeed make mistakes.  They probably often make mistakes that only they or their band-mates notice, part of being a professional is to play on without ruining the piece.

Sometimes a performer will make an obvious mistake or even forget where he is in a song.  The professional does not panic, he just keeps strumming until he finds his place.  Sometimes a singer will just throw in a “La la la la la la la” to fill in his brain fart.  Sometimes they will keep strumming and apologize to the audience.

“Sorry folks, there is a missing verse in there somewhere, I just can’t find it” but they do not stop and just start all over.

I actually enjoy it when these “live” slip ups occur.  It humanizes the performer, and I admire their ability to not panic and work their way through a memory lapse.

This guitar stuff is teaching me about life.  

You never stop learning, trying new things, and improving.  It does not matter that you probably will never reach greatness, and certainly will not reach perfection, it is the attempt that keeps you going.

Playing fast is exciting, but often the music is sweeter if you slow down your pace.
If you make a mistake, screw up in any way as we all do, for me on more than a daily basis, you have to just struggle through it.  There are no do-overs in life, you make mistakes, you learn from them and you keep on playing.

You play until the music stops.