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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Good Night Gracie


Good Night Gracie

 Mrs. C and I are often on the same page, brain wave wise.  Many times we will both make a strange comment or observation at exactly the same time.

Then there are other times.

Mrs. C is a very intelligent woman.  She has remarkable observation and deductive powers.  Like many intelligent people her mind is not always in the same place where someone in a normal conversation’s mind might be.

For instance.

Yesterday we were contemplating dinner.  Often we just fend for ourselves for dinner.

“What are you going to do for dinner?”

“Something simple tonight, I’m thinking grilled cheese.”

“We have seeded rye bread.  I know you like grilled cheese on seeded rye bread.”

“Where did we get seeded rye bread?  You only buy unseeded because you don’t like seeded.”

“I had lunch with Elaine yesterday at Harrold’s (local deli famous for giant sandwiches).  They gave me several extra pieces of seeded rye and I brought them home.”

“Great, where is it.”

“You know where it is, Raritan Center.”

Good night Gracie!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

No Dump Sump Pump


No Dump Sump Pump

The water table in our Townhome is a bit high.  We have a sump pump that kicks off several times a day even without rainy weather.  

Just this week, the association has spent money to improve the drainage in our back yard.   They have dug a deep trench, laid pipe on gravel, graded down to a large retaining and drainage system.  They are doing a nice job.  Personally I am not sure it will alleviate my need for a basement sump pump, but the association determines how our dues are spent, sort of a mini-government thing probably complete with studies and kickbacks…

The trench showed that under about 8 inches of soil is solid clay as deep as can be seen.  Wonder why we have drainage issues.

Anyway, it can’t hurt and should be some improvement.

They were mostly finished by Sunday.  Out of curiosity, I manually kicked off my sump pump.  It drained the 8 gallon tank quickly.  I wanted to see how fast it would refill.   Hours later the tank was half full, I kicked the pump off again.  It whirred and whirred, but it was not drawing water out of the tank.


Coincidence?, or did it have something to do with the outside drainage work?

Now, late at night, I had to manually bail out the tank so the thing would not overflow, and I went to bed flustered just a bit.  Actually I was PISSED with a capital PISSED!

“Why can’t people just leave well enough alone?”

“Relax, check it in the morning” as Mrs. C sent an email to the association people.

“They blocked the underground pipe from the sump…has to be.”

“Check it in the morning.”


“Check it in the morning.”

In the morning after about 15 minutes of restless PISSED OFF sleep, Mrs. C woke me up.

“I just checked, the outside pipe from the sump is off kilter, must have been hit during all that work.  The drainage people are outside.”

I went outside to check the pipe.  It was moved maybe an inch from the pipe to the underground drain.  I moved it into place.  Went down into the basement, plugged in the pump and it kicked off like a charm.

The workers confirmed that water went all the way to the catch basin.

Great, but WTF?

Apparently the offset pipe to the outside was at an angle and partially blocked, this caused an air bubble thing that is the same as plugging the pipe. 

This air bubble thing is just one reason why plumbers need a license.  If you do not allow air release in the right place your entire system will be a mess.  Plumbers are more than  guys with a wrench and an exposed crack, these guys know stuff.

A little Google research and I learned that my pipe between the pump and the check valve should have a quarter inch “weep” hole to also prevent an air bubble problem.


What idiot installed the pump without this recommended weep hole…oh wait, I did.

The pump now works, the weep hole is drilled and I am going back to bed.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

People are Strange


People are Strange

Football Coaches are all Buttheads

I was going to name this post “Another reason Why Facebook Sucks” but I know my older readers will immediately jump in and tell me why they hate anything social media…anyway, I hate Facebook but it does allow me to keep up with children and grandchildren.  People who post political stuff I just unfollow.

So, outside of politics and other things, here is another reason why Facebook sucks. 

Facebook commentors. 

Facebook commentors often suck.  Oh, they mean well, but…ok, here is an example:

My son posted a video of my 12-year-old grandson making a nice tackle in a  Pop Warner football game.

I commented “WOW, nice play.”

Several people commented “Yea Cole, you go!”

One apparently ex-football coach (almost all football coaches are buttheads…often really good guys, but buttheads nonetheless) and peripheral friend of my son commented:

Tell him to never step inside when he has the edge. Always work outside shoulder to the sideline. Turn everything in. Great recovery though and nice finish!!

I was a head high school football coach for 20. Years. Retired last season. Our team and coaching staff compiled a 105-5 record over the last 11 seasons.


My son was a bit riffed about this critique; he is like me and can not just let stuff go.  He responded basically saying he played 12 years and coached High School for six years and thought his son played everything correctly.

I would have replied

“I played linebacker for 12 years and coached for 6 and I have no idea what you are talking about and pretty sure neither would my son, but thanks for the advice.”

This also got me thinking about my football days and the fact that football coaches are never happy or satisfied with their players until, maybe the end of the season.

We once won a game (it was Jr. High) 40 – 0 and on the bus home we started to celebrate.  The coach stood up and told us,

“I don’t know what you are all happy about, that team was terrible and you all were too.  You should have scored at least twice more!”

That guy was actually a good guy and a good coach, but like I say,

“Football coaches are all buttheads!” 

Hmmm…maybe that should be the title of this post.


Monday, October 19, 2020

Where Have All the Lima’s Gone?


Where Have All the Lima’s Gone?

There is a major issue in this country that is obviously being covered up.  I know it exists, but I can find no information while searching through all of the main street media.  All I  find are stories about the Election, Covid, Riots, Climate…no information what-so-ever about an issue close to my heart. 

Why the coverup?

“What are you talking about?” you ask…or maybe you don’t, but this is what I am talking about:


For the past month I have shopped at multiple supermarkets looking for lima beans.  NOTHING!  I have never before gone into a supermarket and NOT found lima beans, now NOTHING.  Not a

“sold out of limas” sign, not an

“ask an employee for lima beans” massage. 


There is clearly an issue, why is no one talking? 

Why the cover up?

Ok, some of you are saying (that’s right, I can hear you)

“Who cares Cranky, no one eats them anyway?”

I eat them.  I am a lima bean fan.  Hell the stores have an abundance of Brussel sprouts and kale.  You think lima beans are bad, how about Brussel sprouts and kale!  Actually I like Brussel sprouts, but KALE?  WTF?

Kale eaters are the same people who simply have to inform me when ever I pick a head of my favorite Iceberg Lettuce that,

“You know that has zero nutritional value don’t you?”

Yes I do know, it also does not taste disgusting like Romaine lettuce does, and if I am looking to get vitamins and healthy calories I will get out of the lettuce aisle.  I have never heard of a doctor advising a patient who is lacking proper nutrition to “Eat more Romaine lettuce!”

Anyway, back to lima beans.  What is the story?  Where are they?  Am I all of a sudden the only person that eats lima beans? Are the Russians or the Chinese behind the shortage?

Today I actually found two packages of frozen lima beans.  They were the baby lima beans which I usually avoid, as baby lima beans are the veal of the bean world, but beggars cannot be choosy.  I snatched up the only two packages and hid them in my cart under the iceberg lettuce (which has absolutely NO nutritional value) hoping I was not exceeding some government imposed limit on lima bean purchasing.

I made it through the checkout line without incident and now have enough lima beans to last several weeks as long as I strictly ration them.

In the mean time I want to know,

Where have all the Lima’s gone, long time passing

Where have all the Lima’s gone, long time ago.

Your welcome for that Peter, Paul, and Mary ear worm.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Blog Friend



Blog Friend

The nice thing about blogging is having friends that you never actually meet. 

The absolutely worst thing about blogging is losing friends you’ve never actually met.

Generally these friends you’ve never met just drop off the blogging scene.  You never really have closure.  My lovely friend who I never met, Lo, dropped of the blog grid several years ago.  She was very old, had trouble with her eyesight, and I can only assume she has passed…it has been several years.

Lo was wonderful, I loved that feisty old lady.  She was strongly liberal versus my conservative bent.  We did not agree on whom to vote for, but we both wanted the same thing for the world, for freedom, for people to get along.  If we had the chance we could have argued politics for hours and still remained great friends.

I had a similar relationship with Craig, a fraternity friend who often visited my blog and always left kind words.  When we met at our annual reunions we would talk politics for some time.  We usually agreed to disagree but left with respect for each other’s views, something that is very uncommon today.

Craig was killed a few years ago.  He was sideswiped on a highway, bike riding with his wife by a careless teenager.  I think the only person I have ever known in my life that would have forgiven that carless teen would be Craig.

I only recently realized I had not seen a blog post from another highly liberal friend who I had never met but reminded me very much of Lo and Craig for his love of life and deep compassion for all things and all people.  Rick Watson of “Life 101.”

Rick would often comment on my posts and I would comment on his.  He was a talented guitar player and composer along with his beautiful wife Jilda.  Theirs was apparently a story book romance, sweethearts from their teens. Rick’s love of Jilda, his nephew, music, bee keeping, dogs, and life itself came through crystal clear in his writing.

It has been months since I saw a post from Rick or had a comment on mine.  Rick posted EVERY day.  I remembered that his wife also had a blog that I had never visited.  With great trepidation I visited her blog today. 

Rick passed suddenly two months ago.  He had mentioned he was a bit under the weather in his last post. 


I have no definitive belief in an afterlife.  The existence of life itself is too complicated for me. There must be a God or a force that has created life as we know it, and it must be a good force as most of the world has such beauty.  There must be some sort of an afterlife beyond my possible comprehension for life itself to make any sense…or maybe it doesn’t.

I hope there is something beyond where when the time comes I can once again argue politics with my friend Craig, and my friends Lo and Rick who I have never met.


Thursday, October 1, 2020




It was 1 AM.  Mrs. C and I had put away our PC’s.  The TV and cable were set to go off in 90 minutes, and our latest favorite falling asleep in bed show “The Walton’s” was on.

“Good night Mrs. C.”

“Good night Cranky Old Man.”

Before I drifted off to sleep a shadow passed over the light cast by the TV set.  It was huge.

“Wake up!  There is a large bat in the room!”

It passed the set again, just a moth.

“It’s just a moth, it won’t hurt anything, go to sleep.”

“I can’t sleep with that thing in the room.”

I got out of bed, grabbed my electric swatter and with my hobbled bad back gait set off to electrocute the intruder.

Hitting a moth with a swatter is like making contact with a Phil Niekro knuckleball.  It ain’t easy.  I flailed away and several times almost fell over in the attempt.  Finally it flew above then on top the headboard on the bed.

I climbed gingerly up the bed ready to take on Mothra.  He was gone.

“He’s gone, go to sleep.”

I went back to bed.


“Not with that creature still in the room…wait; there he is again in front of the TV.”

We both crawled out of bed, Mrs. C now with the electric swatter, I grabbed a magazine.  We were about to pounce when the TV went temporarily blank for a commercial break and Mothra disappeared.


“Just wait, he will be back.”

And after a few minutes he did come back to that moth attracting TV light.  I went to swat it against the screen.

“If you break the TV, I will kill you!”

I held up and Mrs. C trapped it resting on the TV stand but blocked so she could not press down to electrocute the beast.

“Get a tissue!”

“Let me smack it.”


I quick grabbed a tissue and as she lifted the trapping swatter I tissued the creature. 

Mothra squished and flushed down the toilet; we went back to bed.

Mrs. C was asleep in about 12 seconds because she can just do that.

I had mass quantities of adrenaline rushing through my veins.  I had to re-adjust the TV and cable timers and was up for two episodes of “The Walton’s” before I finally fell asleep.

It is never dull around the Cranky House.