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Monday, December 28, 2020

Is Vitamin D a magic Covid bullet?


Is Vitamin D a magic Covid bullet?

I constantly hear and or read, “follow the science.”  This is good advice, except with regard to Covid-19 the science keeps changing.  There is a lot of “thinks” and “expects” but very little “definitive.”

Wear a mask, wash your hands and keep six feet from people is the current advise.  Now it is pretty simple and not all that annoying to wear a mask, wash your hands and keep your distance, so this is advise that I choose to follow.

I will follow this advice, but I am not all that sure it is as protective as advertised.  The recent rise in Covid cases has been blamed on those hard headed, backward thinking cretins that refuse to wear a mask.  While I am sure there are a few idiots that might be contributing to a rise in Covid cases, this can’t be the main issue.

In New Jersey, EVERYONE wears a mask.  I have not left the house in the last six months and seen anyone indoors or around people not wearing a mask.  NOT ONE!  Still, cases in New Jersey have recently risen dramatically.

So, while we must follow the scientists, which ones do we follow? 

What do we know about Covid?

It tends to effect old people, African Americans and obese people the most.  It peeked in this country in the spring and dipped considerably in the summer.  Is their any commonality in these facts.  This article is interesting.

I found this article on Fox, so many of you will stop reading now, but I still find it interesting.


The study which is buried in most media, suggests vitamin C, D and zinc can help protect from Covid and is an effective treatment to reduce Covid symptoms.  It especially finds vitamin D to be effective.

What is interesting to me is that vitamin D deficiency is very common.

Vitamin D is produced by the body when skin is exposed to sunlight.

Some groups, it turns out are especially deficient in vitamin D…old people, obese people, and dark skin people.  It fits a pattern.

Covid in this country was introduced around late January 2020 and exploded through the spring.  Cases started to decline as daylight increased in the summer and cases started to explode again after the summer when days became shorter.  It fits a pattern.

Perhaps having people stay in their dark basements and wait out the virus was a bad idea.  Closing the beaches may not have been a great idea.

Protesting in large groups outdoors in the sun did not seem to cause the virus to spread…Hmmm, outdoors good, inside bad.

Vitamin D, C and zinc is inexpensive; far cheaper than ventilators.  It takes huge quantities of D, C and zinc to cause any ill effects.  In short, much like washing your hands and wearing a mask, it couldn’t hurt!

I will continue to wash my hands, wear a mask, avoid strangers in enclosed poorly ventilated spaces, and I am now taking supplements of vitamin D, C, and zinc. 

When they say I can get a vaccine, I will not waste any time getting it.

Stay safe everyone.




Sunday, December 20, 2020



Rerun from 2011 

Bullying is on everyone’s minds these days.  I read newspaper articles about bullying on a daily basis.  One victim of bullying has not been talked about.  A victim I loved.  An American Holiday tradition is gone as a result of relentless bullying. 

The Christmas Fruitcake is no more.

I loved the Christmas fruitcake.  This was a tradition, baked yearly in-mass by elderly grandmas, aunts, cousins or neighbors.  Women who could not afford gifts to their many acquaintances could pull out a generations handed down recipe and bake bricks of fruity rum infused deserts to be given as presents.

It is true that sometimes you received multiple fruitcakes over the Holidays.  It is also true that the fruitcake had a long, almost forever, shelf life.  The result was some fruitcakes went un-eaten, some were re-gifted. 

There are legends (myths) of the same fruitcake being re-gifted over multiple Christmas Holidays.  It became a joke that the re-gifting of the fruitcake was a Holiday tradition.  Not true, oh it happened, but the re-gifted treat generally ended up with a fruitcake lover.

Legends such as these are fodder for late night comedians and it became a Holiday tradition for these low life bullies to make the traditional Christmas fruitcake joke.  The Tonight Show’s Johnny Carson was particularly brutal in his treatment of fruitcake.   

I loved fruitcake.  My family loved fruitcake, and yet we sat quietly, even laughed uncomfortably when these fruitcake jokes were told.

I should have spoken up.  I should have stood and yelled “Stop! I love fruitcake, and there are many others just like me!”  I did not.  Bullied by the jokes and the head nodding giggling responses of the masses to these jokes, I remained silent.  I allowed the fruitcake to be bullied.

The last ten years there have been no Holiday fruitcakes in my home.  This year there will also be none.  The grandmas, aunts, cousins and neighbors that used to bake and hand them out have all passed-on.  Their recipes have been filed away and forgotten.  Their protégés will not bake and hand them out.  They have been shamed and mocked by the fruitcake bullies; they will be shamed and mocked no more.

Few people will ever again know the joy of receiving and enjoying this Holiday desert treat.  History will tell of the much maligned once traditional Holiday fruitcake which disappeared from the American landscape due to scorn and indifference.

The truth is that a treat baked with love and enjoyed by millions is gone.  Gone as the result of relentless jokes and bullying which was silently allowed by a gutless audience of people such as me.  We quietly allowed a Holiday tradition to be maligned.  We sat back and allowed the fruitcake to be bullied until the fruitcake is no more!

When will we learn?  

Friday, December 18, 2020




On a recent post involving my issues with Siri and directions, one person commented how she still uses a map.

This had me thinking nostalgically. 

Many young people today will never experience the trials and tribulations of road maps. 

Every service station used to sell road maps.  Local maps and maps for all the states.  They fit neatly into your car’s glove compartment.  I never understood why it was a glove compartment, it always just held maps.  Should have been called a map compartment.


Those maps were great; if you could read them.  I could never read them worth a damn.  Read them, Hell, I couldn’t even fold them.  My maps were jammed into the glove compartment folded all inside-out and backwards. 

Skilled people could follow the roads from fold to fold, and they knew their north from south along with distances based on the map scale.  I was helpless with a map. 

I probably inherited my ability from my Mom.

My Dad’s job had him relocated twice in the fifties from New York, to California and then back.  We made both trips by car, a 1951 Buick. 

We found our way following multiple state maps crammed into our glove compartment.  Mom was the chief map reader while Dad did most of the driving.  We often took back roads to visit various parks and must-see landmarks along the way.

Mom was not great at map reading.  The result was never pretty.

“Peg, does I 76 run into Bolderdash Drive.”

“I think so.”

“What think so? It either does or it doesn’t.”

“Well, Bolderdash Drive is kind of skinny and I 76 is this big thick thingy and it may go over Bolderdash because it looks like there is a bridge or something.”

“A bridge? Does it say ‘bridge’?”

“No but it is hard to tell, as it gets close, the fold in the map makes it confusing.”

This went on for several miles before Pop would finally pull to the side of the road and snatch the map away from Mom. 

There may have been cursing.

Why he never just pulled off the road every time in the first place I’ll never know.

Tradition, I guess.

Pop could read a map upside-down and backwards.  He could then flip the thing in the air and after a rhythmic “flap, flap, flap, hand it neatly folded back to Mom.


Years ago, before GPS was common, I used to participate on flyfish trips with friends Frog and Catfish out in Western Maryland. 

Frog always carried a huge book of maps of the area.  It was very detailed and a trip would require flipping the pages several times.  Frog and Catfish had been fishing in this part of Western Maryland several times and they knew the area like the back of their hands.  Still, they had to rely on the book and figure out the best route.

They passed the book back and forth all during the trip and argued.

“I’m pretty sure we can take a left at Possum Bluff and save a few miles to the cabin.”

“Yes, but that road is a bit rough after a rain.”

“It hasn’t rained in days.”

“Maybe not at home, but from the looks of the leaves on the persimmons trees it rained here recently.”

(Needless to say, Catfish was an expert at reading nature.)

“Oh yeah, plus that road does not pass the fly shop by Snot Grass Pass.”

“So, we should take the Old Dickweed Road?”

“That’s what I think.  What do you think Hagy?”

“What? I’m still trying to figure out what a persimmons tree is and how the hell you can judge rainfall by the leaves!”

Sometimes I think Frog and Catfish loved discussing maps more than they loved fishing.


Anyway, that is all I have on maps.  Young people are lucky to be born in a GPS world.

I can’t read a map, but I’m pretty good at listening to and following Siri’s directions. I hardly ever have to pull over and yell at Siri. 

Plus, there is now room for gloves in my glove compartment.



Shopping the Old Fashion Way


Shopping the Old Fashion Way

 It seems like everyday there is a package dropped by our front door.  Mrs. C does her shopping on-line.  It is not just Christmas time, there are packages delivered year-round.  Half the time Mrs. C does not even remember what she ordered.  It is like Christmas all year long.

Me…I’m not that much at ordering on-line.  When I do, Mrs. C helps me with it.  Otherwise, I am a go-to-the-store shopper. 

I shop the old fashion way.

This year Mrs. C asked for a particular item for her Christmas present.  She gave me a picture of the item from a catalogue and even a $10 off coupon from “Best Buy.”  At another time she pointed out a store where I could make the purchase and use the coupon.

I remember her pointing it out, I do not remember the store or where it was.  Obviously, it was “Best Buy” as that was where the coupon was from.

The other day I decided to go and buy her present. 

Now of course I will buy other things, but this present she will like, the others will probably miss the mark.

It is the trying that counts…Right?


I checked Siri for the nearest “Best Buy.”  There were three. I saw one was Woodridge Avenue and asked for directions.  I asked for Woodridge Center Mall.

Siri sent me to the center of Woodridge Township.

About 30 minutes later I figured out how to get to the mall.

Once in the Mall I looked for the store.  There was a “Best Somethingorother” store, but not a “Best Buy.”

I got back to my car and asked once again for directions to the nearest “Best Buy.” It was only one mile away.  Siri provided directions, but for some reason she was not talking.  Driving and watching a map on a phone is not one of my skill sets.

At rt. 1 the map said turn left.  At 100 feet from the store without a “Turn right now” instruction from Siri, and multiple entrances from multiple stores, I drove by the “Best Buy” store.  It took me a half hour to negotiate a U-turn on rt 1.  It was the middle of the week during a pandemic and traffic still screamed Christmas.

In reversing direction on rt. 1 to get to the store I missed the proper U-turn and out of frustration made an illegal turn which based on a cacophony of honking led me to believe that many shoppers were not feeling the Christmas spirit.

Screw them, I was now on a mission to buy Mrs. C’s present at “Best Buy.”

As I was making the left turn again, I saw a huge sign on a building across the street, BEST BUY.

What the heck, there are two stores within a mile radius?

As I was pondering this, I managed to once again miss the “Best Buy” store that Siri wanted to send me to.


This time traffic was even worse and it took me almost an hour to be able to make another U-turn.

I once again found myself at a light with Siri insisting, I turn left and proceed to the entrance that was disguised by a zillion other entrances to the wrong stores. 

No way; right ahead was the store with the giant “BEST BUY” sign.  I was going to the sure thing store.

Well, Siri did not like that store because it was the OLD BEST BUY store and now being demolished.

Fifteen minutes later I finally found the correct “Best Buy” entrance.  “Best Buy” is a pretty big store.  The item I was looking for was a tiny item.  Best Buy employees were as hard to find as the item.  I finally did find someone and after another 1/2 hour of shopping, Mrs. C’s present was in my hand.

It then was a 30-minute wait to make my purchase.  Seems the pandemic has not stopped shoppers, but it has put a crimp in people willing to work checkout for minimum wage.

On the way home I got a call from Mrs. C

“Where are you it’s been over four hours!”

You don’t want to know; but never send me to Woodbridge to shop again, traffic is a zoo and the roads are confusing as heck.”

“Woodbridge?  Why Woodbridge?”

“Because that is where the nearest ‘Best Buy’ store is.”

“Best Buy?  I told you ‘Hand and Stone’, it is only 5 minutes away.  I pointed it out to you.”

“Well, I didn’t remember where we were, and the coupon says ‘Best Buy’.”

“Hand and Stone accepts Best Buy coupons.”

“Like I’m going to know that?”

“Did you at least get what I asked for?”

“What? And spoil the surprise?”


Next year I am going to only shop on-line and let Mrs. C walk me through it.  What the heck, she’s never surprised anyway.

Shopping the old fashion way sucks!




Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Cranky Mr. Fixit


Cranky Mr. Fixit


As an owner of a townhome with HOA restrictions, (yes “Cynthia” from that commercial does exist) I have little to say about anything outside of our unit.  This is a bit annoying, but on the plus side I am not particularly handy with stuff so the association does take care of most issues.

There are exceptions.

We do not have direct access to our garage.  It is attached but not to our unit…anyway we need to go outside in order to get to our garage.  The lock on the garage side-door is difficult to operate in the dark so I leave the garage light on at all times.

Mrs. C does not like that.

So…I bought a gadget with a motion detector that turns the light on at night when it is approached.  End of problem.

Except that the gadget crapped out after a few months.

I know; I could get a good spotlight with a motion detector for a reasonable price, but that would not pass muster with our local “Cynthia.” 

All outside fixtures must be of a certain specification. 

So…we bought another gadget that is activated by darkness to turn the light on for three hours.  Three hours after dusk is as much time as we may typically need.

After about a week this gadget stopped working.

“Dang it!  We keep buying cheap gadgets to fix our garage light issue and they keep crapping out.  I’m going to get one of those spotlight motion detector things at Lowes.  I’ve installed them before and I know they will work and not crap out.”

“You can’t, the HOA will object and you’ll have to take it down.”

“So, I can’t get in the garage at night without remembering a flashlight?”

“We could get another of those cheap gadgets.”

“No, 0 for 2 is enough, the cheap things just don’t work.”

“This one was working so well, it’s bizarre that it stopped.”

“Well, it did, I’m going to chuck it in the garbage.”

“Before you do, maybe the bulb just burned out.”

That turned out to be a good suggestion.

Like I said, I am not particularly handy with stuff.

Another example:

There was recently some irrigation work done in our yard.  The workers managed to lower a pipe that our sump emptied into.  This caused the sump discharge to splatter against the house.

Not a big problem, but one I was directed to fix.

The solution was to simply extend the discharge pipe the inch that the drain pipe was dropped.  Not worth explaining, suffice to say I needed to attach one section of PVC pipe to another with a PVC coupler.

Simple enough except I could not believe how tight the fit was.  I could not insert the pipe to the coupler more than a quarter inch.  With the required PVC cement, which sets up almost instantly, I would never get the pieces together.  I spent an hour trying to sandpaper the joints down to make the fit easier. 

It seemed to make almost no difference.

I figured that I could use a rubber mallet to quick join the pieces together. 

I slathered on the PVC cement, fit the pieces together and before I could slam them with the mallet discovered that the PVC cement allows the pieces to easily slide together before it set up.

No sanding needed; no mallet needed.  The pieces slide together easy- peasy.

It might just be a good thing that the association is responsible for  most outside maintenance.   

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Like Father Like Son


Like Father Like Son


It’s a football story, ladies, nothing to see here.  Except, who knows, you might like it. Naw, probably not…but maybe

Have you ever wondered what goes on in a football pile up after a fumble? 

Well, I will tell you anyway.

When the football is loose, everyone dives on the pile to recover it.  The referee can in no way know who has possession of the ball until he removes players from the pile one by one until he can see who has the ball.   While this is going on, players in the pile are trying to rip the ball away from whoever actually recovered the fumble.

About one hundred years ago, while a young Cranky was in Jr. High School, eighth grade for those keeping track, I was involved in one of those fumble recovery pileups.

Actually, I was not initially in the pile up.  I was standing by while the referee was removing players one by one.  While he was doing this, I could see who had the ball, and his jersey color was different from the one I was wearing.

I got down on one knee and slowly worked my way into the pile from the opposite side as the ref.  I managed to slip a hand on the ball, and then another and by the time the referee pulled everyone off I had stollen the ball from its rightful owner.

Possession goes to Cranky’s team!

Many years later, I was telling my eight-year-old son, who was in his first year of Pop Warner Football, about my years ago gridiron robbery.

“Isn’t that cheating?”

“Only if you get caught, and then there is no penalty, you just don’t get the ball.”

His very next game, there was a fumble and a large pile up over the ball.  As the referee began to remove players from the pile, my son snuck up, got on his knees and wiggled his way into the pile.  By the time the ref removed everyone, my son had wrestled the ball away from its rightful possessor.  He was credited with the recovery and his team got the ball.

I tell you it was one of my proudest moments as a Dad!




Thursday, December 10, 2020

Ode To Mrs. Cranky


Ode To Mrs. Cranky


the date,

easy to remember 

for your mate

This Friday makes 

10 years I know

I expect 

many more to go


We met after 

I ended work

Plenty time 

to be just a jerk

Lots of time 

for us to grow

Lots to love 

don’t I know


You may not be perfect

I say with a smirk

How could perfection

Love such a jerk

No one is perfect

How could they be

But I must say

You are perfect for me


Some women are crazy

No need to discuss

But there is something 

crazy bout us

When it comes to crazy

One thing is true 

The thing that is crazy

is me about you


We bicker a lot 

we laugh for sure

Ten years is a lot 

but I want much more

No sense figuring 

why we just work

You with your quirks

 me just a jerk


So happy ten

My favorite wife

I expect it to be happy

For the rest of my life.






Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Perfect Game


The Perfect Game

I have been bowling since I was nine years old…65 years (boy am I tired!).  My pops used to take me to the lanes after church every Sunday.

I am a good bowler, but definitely not a great bowler.  In our league of mostly seniors there are at least 15 members with a higher average.  Several of the ladies easily out score me.

The thing about bowling is, even an average bowler on any given game, can bowl as well as a professional.

The ultimate in bowling is to bowl a perfect game, twelve strikes in a row, a 300 score.  Monday night I achieved that ultimate. 

Mrs. C says I have been almost impossible to live with since Monday.  I say give me a week, it is for me a once in a lifetime event.

Some of my friends have asked me how it felt to bowl a perfect game.

I don’t know what it is like to win the Super Bowl, the World Series, make it to CEO of a major corporation or win a Pulitzer prize, bowling a perfect game is as close as I will ever come to such an achievement.  So, not as a way of boasting, though I am not above that, I am posting on my one great event. 

To put things in perspective, a top professional averages around 220 a game on lane conditions made more challenging than for regular bowlers  (different oil patterns and stuff, difficult to explain and also boring).  My average is around 175, good, but no great shakes.

Bowling is not a complicated game, and like many sports there is an element of luck involved.  Sometimes you can get a strike (all ten pins in one throw) with a horrible shot.  Sometimes what seems to be a perfect throw, leaves one pin standing.  Bad luck…good luck.  To bowl a perfect game you do need some good luck.

I have in the past bowled 11 strikes in a row, but in overlapping games.  Just this year I threw 10 in a row, then left one pin on what I thought was a perfect throw and then struck again, so I knew I could potentially throw 12 in a row.  Doing it in the same game is a different story.

Monday in my first game I threw three shots where I left one pin on what I thought were certain strikes.  It was a bit frustrating.  I was using a brand new ball and considered using my old ball for the next game, but decided to give it just a few more frames.

The first frame was a good shot.  The six pin flipped from the gutter to just trip the ten pin for the first strike.  That is not uncommon on a slightly off hit, maybe fifty-fifty the ten pin gets tripped.  The second frame the ball was buried in the pocket a perfect strike… “ten in the pit” it is sometimes called.  The third frame was another fifty-fifty ten pin trip.

The fourth through the eighth every shot was as they say “buried in the pocket,” perfect strikes.  After the seventh, I was not thinking about a perfect game.  The other team was bowling well and I was just thinking of our team winning the game.  After eight in a row it dawned on me that a perfect game was possible.

I have been asked about how nervous I was on the twelfth strike.  It was the ninth strike where I was the most nervous.  When a player gets perfect to the tenth frame, everyone in the league takes notice and the tenth frame stirs a lot of attention.  I really wanted to be part of that experience just once, even without getting the perfect game.

The first shot in the tenth was a perfect ten in the pit.  I think someone fist bumped me after that one, something akin to telling a baseball pitcher he was throwing a no-hitter,  definitely not proper protocol, but it did somehow relax me.   

The building was dead silent.  It is eerie having dead silence while bowling.  The eleventh shot was also ten in the pit. 

For the last shot I was feeling the nerves.  I thought of my brother who passed away years ago, and others close to me who were no longer with us, (there may have been prayer involved) it put one last stupid bowling strike into perspective and helped control my heart rate and concentration. 

I had only positive thoughts.

Having about forty people, most just casual bowling acquaintances, rooting for you in complete silence was a great feeling.  I threw the last ball in a semi-trance.  It was a perfect ten in the pit.  The forty other league bowlers yelled, they were as happy for me as I was thrilled.  It was fist bumps all around, a very special feeling.

I prepared for the next and last game with a double scotch to calm down.  The first frame was one more strike…13 in a row. 

From there I went back to an average once a week bowler.

My fifteen minutes of fame was over,  Mrs. C claims I am still trying to milk it…at least she hasn’t called me a jerk about it.



Monday, December 7, 2020

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Cranky is just fine

 A few readers have voiced concern for my wellbeing.  Mrs. C and I are fine.  I am just a bit tired of posting.  Maybe it is politics, maybe this covid thing, but the world is getting too easily offended and I do not want to add to the offense with my sometimes misunderstood commentary.

Still reading the posts of others and occasionally commenting.

Hope to be back to posting in the future.