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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

PIPE DREAM

 

PIPE DREAM





What ever happened to pipes?  I know smoking in general is not as popular as it once was, but plenty of people do still smoke cigarettes.  Cigars are still somewhat popular, mostly with men.  I see guys lightening up a good cigar on the golf course often. 

I have not seen a pipe smoker in forever.

Pipes used to be popular.  Fred McMurry always puffed on one on “My Three Sons.”  Sherlock Holmes was famous for his Meerschaum Pipe.  My dad smoked a pipe when he was not smoking a cigarette.  My boss used to smoke a pipe, but all that was eons ago.  I don’t think anyone smokes a pipe anymore.

Cigarette smokers used to be the suave and cool people, or sometimes the tough guy.  A cigar smoker was a big shot, successful and full of himself.  Pipe smokers were the intellectuals.

In college you always knew when a student changed his major to Psychology or English Literature.  If they were suddenly wearing a corduroy jacket with elbow patches and smoking a pipe, they had changed their major.

The thing with pipes is they took a lot of work.  They needed constant cleaning, reloading, tamping and relighting.  My pop's casual shirts all had holes in them from flying pipe embers. 

He always smoked a pipe when he took me bowling.  Even today, if I throw a strike, I sometimes get a memory whiff of Captain Black tobacco.

My boss once got confused while smoking his pipe.  He went to put on his glasses but he did not have his glasses, he was holding his pipe.  Damn near put his eye out with it.  I held in my laughter like a kid who farted in church.

When I worked on Wall Street the traders all smoked cigarettes.  One of them once told me that you could tell when a trader was getting burned out.  If he switched to a pipe he would soon be done.  No one can make quick decisions while smoking a pipe. 

A pipe requires contemplating-slow-draws of smoke, a stare into space and a “harumph” before rendering a decision or opinion.

I guess, along with the general distain society has for any kind of smoking, the pace of the world today, what with instant access to data and information, has rendered the pipe obsolete.  People just no longer have the time for the contemplating pace of pipe smoking.

Personally, I gave up cigarettes years ago and am happy for it.  I do enjoy an occasional cigar when Mrs. C is not around.  She hates the smell of a cigar.  Surprisingly she tells me she used to like the smell of a pipe.  She would have no problem if I took up pipe smoking.

I would try it, maybe even enjoy a nice cherry flavor tobacco, except I’d be spending too much time looking for my lighter, tamper and pipe cleaners.  Also, I get distracted too easily.  I might not poke my eye out like my old boss, but I would sure as Hell ruin a lot of shirts and stand a good chance of burning the house down.

Anyway, I’m not sure you can even buy the damn things any more.

 

 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

STUFF I’ve DONE

 

STUFF I’ve DONE



We recently had our bedroom painted.  We hired someone to do the job.  Years ago, I would have done it myself.  Years ago, I could have barely afforded the paint, now I can have someone else do it. 

I was a lousy painter.  I would leave brush marks and paint bristles on the wall.  I could barely afford the paint, do you think I used good brushes?

I inevitably found a way to spill some paint and then step in it leaving tracks before I realized what happened.

After hours of removing bristles, going over brush strokes and cleaning up after messes, I somehow actually ended up doing a decent job.

Anyway, having someone else do this job, and do it right in one third the time had me thinking of other jobs I have done, by myself, and with having no idea how to do them. 

There was no internet for directions, and I am not very good at following directions anyway.  I am more of a dive right in and do it…then undo it and try again kind of guy.

Looking back, I have no idea how I finished these jobs without any help, other than a woman standing behind me reminding me that I didn’t know what the “F” I was doing. 

Thanks for that! (Not Mrs. Cranky)

I once finished a basement…well semi-finished a basement.  I put up finished walls and wired outlets.  I must have cut and recut about 75 studs.  I needed only 40. 

Measure once, cut twice; grab a new stud and try again.

The most difficult part was attaching the base stud to the concrete floor.  I used special concrete nails but they just bounced off the hammer and damn near took out my eye.  They have a special hammer that fires off from a CO2 cartridge or something, but who could afford that.  I finally learned that a 4 pound mini-sledge/hammer could slam those nails into the concrete like a knife through butter (Not a hot knife, but good enough.)

I once created a 10 X 12-foot patio using heavy 6-inch X 4-inch pavers. 

Digging it out, spreading two layers of crushed stone and a layer of sand and then laying the pavers took me three days to finish. 

It took me 10 days to recover.  Every muscle in my body ached, my back, my legs and especially every finger. 

Don’t ever get in a fight with someone who does that job for a living!

The patio did look pretty good though.

I installed two garage door openers…without help.  Two-by-fours substituted for a helper to hold the damn thing up while I connected it to the ceiling and the garage door.  Still not sure how I did not kill myself, but the thing did work.

I also used the two-by-four trick when I installed a pull-down attic stair unit.  That involved carpentry.  Once again, I employed the measure once, cut twice method, but eventually they were in and looked/worked pretty good.

I don’t want to even talk about wall paper, refinishing furniture, electrical and plumbing installations.  Been there, done that, fucked it up and done that over again.

I rate most jobs by the number of “G-damns” I yell, and the number of trips I take to Lowes.  The average plumbing job, for instance, is a five "G-damn", three-trip project.

The thing about home projects is after you have done them and learn the correct way to do the job, you never do it again.  You are often left with some specialized tool that you will also never use again.

Anyway, enough of painful reminiscing.

These days, I’ve got a guy!

Friday, October 15, 2021

HARD TIMES

 

HARD TIMES

 


It seems to me that almost every news story, commercial, or commentary of any kind begins with “In these difficult times.”

“In these difficult times, investing can be scary!”

“In these troubled times, just getting a regular health check-up is an adventure.”

”In these turbulent times, just getting out of bed in the morning is not easy.”

When were times not difficult, troubled, or turbulent?

I don’t remember turning on the news and hearing,

“The economy continues to be great, everyone is loaded and spending all that cash is sometimes not easy.  In these prosperous times, how do you handle all that money?”

“Need help buying a new car?  In these terrific times there are so many options, how do you decide?”

“Are you looking to change jobs?  In these wonderful times of racial harmony, anyone can find work anywhere.”

I don’t remember those times.  Seems like times are always “difficult, troubled, or turbulent.

It does not seem to matter which political party is in charge, times are always difficult, troubled or turbulent.

I am trying to remember non-difficult, troubled or turbulent times.

I remember black people being hit a wall of water from fire hoses and being attacked by large dogs for wanting to sit at a soda counter.  That was pretty troubling.

I’ve heard of starving people standing in line for bread and others jumping out of buildings because they lost everything.  That sounds difficult to me.

I was born after World War II.  From what I’ve read, it sounded very turbulent.

If these times are difficult, troubled or turbulent, they are probably a lot less difficult, troubled or turbulent than any other time in history…

except maybe the 1950’s. 

Those were good times. 

If you weren’t a minority, or if you dodged polio, and you had a job. 

Still, even then, cars had no air conditioning, there were no cell phones and TV had maybe five channels and nothing after midnight.  Ooooo! Bad!

I can’t wait for when these times will no longer be difficult, troubled or turbulent.  I won’t hold my breath.

 

Friday, October 8, 2021

SMILE TALKING

 

SMILE TALKING



Do you smile while you talk?  Not just a smirk, or upward turned lips. I’m talking a full out,  upper and lower teeth flashing smile…while talking.

I’ve noticed that people in TV commercials, newscasters, and politicians are very good at full out smile talking. 

Women are especially good at full out smile talking.  Men generally can only do it in short spurts.

Men might semi-smile while they talk and then end with an all-out toothy grin; women can maintain the full smile and look natural while doing it.

The smile talk looks friendly and non-threatening when women do it.  It can look creepy when a man tries it. 

I’ve tried to do it and I just cannot.  Not just because I am generally cranky, but I am physically incapable of doing it.  If I talk with a full out smile, I look like a cartoon character or a serial killer.

When a male politician is asked a difficult question, he will get serious and often a bit testy.  Women politicians are masters at smiling through a question, often even laughing in a derisive show at how silly the question is before she will even respond.  She will full out smile throughout her response.

Women seem to have complete control over their smile, perhaps that is why when they are surprised and laugh unexpectedly they cover their mouth so they don’t lose control.  Have you EVER seen a man cover his mouth to hide a smile? OK, a straight man?

Anyway.

How do people do it?

It is very effective.

I wish I could do it.

“JOE…did you forget to turn off the stove burner again?”

Smiling all the while and chortling, “What, ha ha, you must be kidding?  A burner was left on? Why would I not turn off a burner?  You must be joking.”

That response might make the wife wonder if a burner was in fact left on…maybe she was mistaken, maybe she left it on.

“JOE…did you buy another guitar?  The Guitar Store called and said they had a delivery ready for pick up?”

Smiling, “What…ha ha, why would I buy another guitar?  Oh wait, ha ha, maybe I did, I almost forgot about it.  It was too good a deal to pass up.”

Act guilty and apologetic and the new guitar is going back.  Smile, laugh and make light of it and maybe I could charm my wife into making room on the wall for another instrument.

Alas, I do not have the smiley-semi-laugh-while-talking gene.

It possibly explains why I am not a politician.   It may also explain why I am on my third wife.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

DE WHAT?

 

DE WHAT?

A cranky old man public service for computer nudnicks like myself






I have two PC’s.  One is upstairs and is a mid-range pretty good computer.  I don’t really need any fancy stuff.  The second is downstairs and is a cheap DELL.  Not that DELL makes cheap computers, this is just their low-end computer as I did not need to pay for a really good one, DELL or otherwise. 

The downstairs computer is for holding my music and occasional internet browsing.  I could use the good computer downstairs.  It is very mobile as a laptop, but I am spoiled and don’t like hauling it and all the chargers around.   Same reason that I have a pair of reading and TV glasses on every floor and an i-phone charger on every floor.

I can’t afford a boat, plane or house at the beach, but I can have the little things, and yes, I am lazy.

Anyway.  The downstairs computer lately has been so slow as to make it almost worthless.  Even just accessing my music (song chords and lyrics for guitar) which is on my hard drive in Microsoft word, was taking forever.

I may have been losing patience with the thing.  Sometimes when I lose patience I may take it out on Mrs. C by yelling.

“GD this friggin-frazzle-pop computer.  I should just get a new one except I hate all that file saving password assigning frustrating crap it takes to get a new one up and running the way you want it!”

“What is wrong with it?”

“It takes forever to just open a file, never mind accessing the internet!  It is basically worthless!”

“When was it last defragged?”

“DE WHAT?  My computer is not gay (not that there is anything wrong with that), and that is not acceptable speak!”

“DeFRag, F R A G!”

“Oh, what the hell is that?; and never.”

“It is supposed to happen periodically, but sometimes it is not completed correctly.”

“What is it.”

“It consolidates files and stuff, makes it faster for the computer to access data, I don’t really know, but it just it makes the computer run more economically.”

“How do I do it?”

“Just search for “Defragging” and follow the directions to “Optimize.”

OK, so sometime I listen to Mrs. C because she knows stuff.

I defragged the computer.  It took about 6 hours.  Mrs. C said that it took so long because it has not been done in like FOREVER!

Once completed the damn thing ran like new.  Slow for most computer, but good enough for a cheap low-end computer.

I am posting this as many of my readers are seasoned like myself and may  have also never heard of DEFRAGGING.

If your computer is running crappy, don’t spend money on the GEEK SQUAD.  They will probably just defrag it for you and act like they did something super-duper smart and difficult while they take your money and laugh at you from behind that curtain where they make believer they are magicians.

Anyway:

https://www.dummies.com/computers/for-seniors-how-to-defragment-your-computer-hard-drive/

 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

If a car is hit in a parking lot and there is no mark, was the car even hit at all?

 

If a car is hit in a parking lot and there is no mark, was the car even hit at all?

 

So, a certain valedictorian posted about a parking lot accident without a dent.  I guess that just makes it an acci.

Anyway, it reminded me of an incident years ago.  Maybe just an inci.

My soon to be ex-wife bumped/non-bumped into a car at a Costco lot and drove away without checking or saying anything.  Someone witnessed the bump/non-bump and left a note on the car with our license plate number.

The owner saw the note and called the police to report a hit and run.

A week later I received a notice to appear in court for a hit and run charge.  They chose me, as the car was registered in my name.  I asked the not yet but-on-her-way-to-be ex-wife if she knew anything about this hit and run. She shrugged her shoulders and said,

“Oh yeah, I might have hit someone, I didn’t think anyone saw it.”

“Are you going to court and defend the hit/might have non-hit?”

“I can’t, I am going to Boston that week, (to shack up with her future husband) anyway the summons is in your name!”

Have I ever mentioned that in addition to being a few cards short of a deck, she was (probably still is) a bitch?  Well she was (probably still is) a bitch!

So, I had to go to court. 

In preparation I went to the police station to get a copy of the accident report. The report explained everything including the unnamed witness who left the note, and the owner who called in the hit and run.

I took particular notice of a column in the report marked “DAMAGE.” It said in capital letters “NONE DISCERNIBLE.”

Why I wondered…actually I wondered,

“Why the F*CK would anyone report a hit and run accident where there was no discernable damage, and why the F*CK would the police write a summons on a hit and run with damage NOT DISCERNABLE based on an unnamed witness?”

Judge Judy would never allow such a travesty.

So, I went to court worried about a hit and run charge and curious as to how much I would have to pay the owner of the undamaged car for the non-damage incurred in the maybe bump-and-run committed by my soon to be ex-wife bitch.  Did I mention she was (and probably still is) a bitch?

I was also curious to see if the lady whose car was maybe hit resulting in NO DISCERNABLE DAMAGE would show up at court to press charges, and if she could even press a charge based on an unknown witness who left a note.

I waited around three hours to have my minute in court. 

The judge asked me about the accident and I replied I knew nothing. I was at work and it was my wife who drove the car to Costco.  She then asked why my wife was not here and I said because the summons is in my name and also because the is a bitch! (OK I left out the bitch part)

I did mention that the police report said DAMAGE NONE DISCERNABLE and so I did not know if there was actually a hit and run, or something that looked like a hit to an unnamed witness, but was in fact a no hit and a drive away.  

(Based on my 10-year-olds account, there was a bump, a lady was yelling and mommy just pulled away.  Still there was DAMAGE NONE DISCERNABLE!

Who shows up at court to fight for such an accident?

Answer – Nobody.

The case was thrown out as the non-injured injured party did not show.

Still unanswered is the question:

If a car is hit in a parking lot and there is no mark, was the car even hit at all?

 

 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Do I need to Call Mr. Johnson?

 

Do I need to Call Mr. Johnson?



 

The current cry to defund the police has got me to thinking.  The idea I have heard is to replace police with less violent, psychology trained counselors to reason with offenders of various laws and general rules of polite public conduct.

Many police officers, it seems are too quick to stop criminal behavior with their guns drawn.  When the police overact bad things happen.  People revolt, stores are burned down and neighborhoods are closed.  Not good.

But will psychology trained counselors be able to do the job without violence?  I doubt it. 

I have a solution from my grade school experience 65 years ago.

Now I did not go to school in a particularly tough neighborhood.  We had our lunch money bandits, our class skipping delinquents and a few nose-bloodying bullies, but it was no Compton.  Still there were troublemakers.

There were no police in our schools, no strong-armed teachers, no special disciplinary personnel, there was Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Johnson, an ex-marine, was our custodian.  He was not highly trained, he was not highly skilled, but he was well liked by everyone and when need be, he was feared.

When a student was acting up the teacher in charge would ask, “Do I need to call Mr. Johnson?”  

End of acting up.

When there was a fight, Mr. Johnson was there to break it up.  Two students held off the ground by their collars by Mr. Johnson quickly decided to shake hands and be friends.

The threat of Mr. Johnson dragging your butt to the principal’s office was enough to make most students think twice about their behavior.

I have since learned that ours was not the only school with a Mr. Johnson.  Most schools in the 60’s had a Mr. Johnson.

Under paid, and overworked, the Mr. Johnsons of the 60’s did not put up with annoying students who did not know how to behave.  The Mr. Johnsons did not have the time or patience.  They did have the street smarts and military discipline to stop punk kids quickly and without violence.

Mr. Johnson was well liked and yet at the same time feared by all.  Maybe if we defund the police, they should be replaced by old school custodians.  Men who would literally keep the streets and troublemakers clean.

These days criminals do not fear the police.  The police are afraid of a Police Brutality accusation.  The police don’t want to lose their job. The police often find their hands tied dealing with crime, every arrest is subject to an investigation. 

A Mr. Johnson doesn’t worry as much about his job or pension, it’s not that great, and there is no such thing as a “Custodian Brutality” charge. 

Young punks are hero’s when they stand up to the police, but they are assholes if they mess with a Mr. Johnson.

Break into a house, rob a store, hijack a car…

“Do I have to call Mr. Johnson?”

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

WE NEED TO FIX UNFAIRNESS IN SPORTS

 

WE NEED TO FIX UNFAIRNESS IN SPORTS



 

Anyone who is a fan of sports today must be as sick as I am at the total unfairness of almost all sports.

Some athletes are just so much stronger and so much faster than other athletes that it is not fair.  It is just not any fun to watch.

Take for example golf’s Bryson Dechambeau.  The man weighs 250 pounds.  Most other pro golfers are not much more than 190 pounds.  He spent the last year packing on pounds, lifting weights and building muscle so he can hit a golf ball 75 yards further than anyone else.  How is that fair?

It isn’t!

I think we should find a way to tax that strength and create an even-playing field for all golfers.  Maybe Bryson should have to hit a heavier golf ball than everyone else.  That would be fair.

There is this football player on the Kansas City Chiefs, Tyreek Hill who is so fast he is almost impossible to cover on a long pass.

I saw a YouTube clip of him chasing after a teammate to congratulate him on a TD reception.  He came from 20 yards behind and caught him before the end zone.  That is ridiculously fast.  He should have to wear weights on his shoes.  Tax his speed.  It is not fair to all the other players who were just not born fast, or did not spend their youth running and sprinting and practicing to get fast.

Giancarlo Stanton is a hitter on the NY Yankees.  He is 6’5” 255 pounds and hits the ball harder and further than any player in the league.  A few nights ago he hit two homeruns against the Red Sox that went clear out of the ball park and into the Boston streets.

Who needs that much power?  The ball only has to go about 400 feet to be a homerun and he hit it over 450 feet.  How is that fair?

It is not!  He should have to use a heavier bat.  Tax his strength.

When I am watching a sporting event, I do not want to see these athletes that are just clearly faster and stronger than all the other athletes.  It is unfair.  I am against rewarding those either born with or who work hard to achieve such exceptional abilities by having them win so often.

Other athletes are not blessed with born speed and strength or they just do not have the time or inclinations to work and achieve those abilities.  They have lives and other obligations, they should not have to give up their time in order to compete fairly. 

The exceptional athletes need to have their speed and strength taxed.  Only then will the playing field be level for all.

I’m pretty sure sports governing bodies could adjust the rules so that sports could achieve true and fair mediocrity for all.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

I do not get it

 

I do not get it

NOT HELPFUL

Woke up please Cranky, woke up

Woke up please Cranky, woke up

Went to dinner it hit the spot

I had to visit a pot

Two rooms were presented I wasn’t offended

But the sign didn’t mean a lot

 

Apologies to the Everly Brothers, but a recent restaurant trip had me humming their tune. 

While Mrs. C was off visiting Disney World with her kids, I visited friend Frog to attempt to become a guitar picking geezer duo.  We can play, but timing is an issue.

“No no no, you come in after four beats!”

“Pretty sure it is five beats, there are only three beats on the last measure.”

“Nooo, it's down up, up down down down!”

“WHAT?”

After about three hours of this we went out to dinner.  We went to a nice place in the middle of the local college campus.  After a cocktail and before the entrées arrived I had to excuse myself.

A waiter directed me to the restrooms.  There were two, like most restaurants, however unlike most restaurants, both had identical gender signage.

A small plaque with a stick figure wheel chair, a stick figure with a skirt and a stick figure without a skirt.

WTF?

I gave myself a quick perusal and determined I did not have a stick figure skirt, but that was still no help.  Which room do I use, both rooms had the same sign? After much head scratching I figured it didn’t matter.  This must be part of that woke gender stuff I’ve been reading about.

Now I don’t really care that much.  I’m pretty old, I’ve seen a lot of stuff.  If I walked in on a stick figure skirt squatting I wouldn’t turn into a pillar of salt, but it just seems so silly.  Maybe a stick figure skirt person would be upset…who needs that?

Why don’t they just put up a sign on both rooms that say,

“Bathroom…knock!”

Anyway, I took a chance on door number two for my number one and it was fortunately empty.  It did have a lock which I engaged.

Is it wrong to lock the door?  If gender doesn’t matter, why lock doors?  If a stick figure skirt wants to wash it's stick figure hands and straighten out it's stick figure hair while I’m busy with number one should that be allowed?

Is locking the door un-woke?  Is un-woke a word?

From now on my dinner will be at “Outback” where I recently learned the hard way that I am a BLOKE, not a SHEILA.


 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

We Are All Stupid

 

We Are All Stupid



When I am with my grandchildren, I sometime say that something is “stupid.”  I then get reprimanded as apparently these days, “stupid” is a four-letter word. 

I disagree.

Years ago, I self-published a book titled “I Used To Be Stupid.”

The premise of the book was that whenever you look back on your life you realize that you used to be stupid.  The older you get, the longer the time frame where you used to be stupid, but you used to be stupid nonetheless. 

This means that depending on how old you are, some years down the road you will look back on today and realize, “Damn, I was really stupid!”

My book sold 15 copies, four of which did not go to relatives, nine of those fifteen were bought by me as gifts.  Of the four non-relatives, two people told me they did actually enjoy the book.  I fully suspect that by now, those two people will realize that they enjoyed the book because…They used to be stupid!

Anyway

Recently after thinking I have solved the secret to a consistent golf swing for maybe the 12th time this year, I realized that I will never master the game and the fact that I thought I could is because I AM STUPID!

Not used to be stupid, but at the age of 75 I have finally come to grips with not only did I used to be stupid, but in fact I am and always will be stupid. 

That is the wisdom of old age; you realize that you are stupid.

I think we are all stupid, and that is OK. 

I mean, don’t you know people that tell you their dog is really smart because it knows a few tricks?  Great, but that same dog also sniffs other dog’s butts and licks poop.  The dog that they think is so smart is actually really stupid.

So, let’s admit, we are all stupid.  Some of us can do really nice tricks, but we are still stupid.  Maybe not butt sniffing, poop licking stupid, but still pretty stupid.

We buy shit that people tell us will make us happy, because we are stupid.  We all think that we know what is best for us and everyone else (politics for example) because we are stupid.  We smoke, or drink, or do any number of stupid things, because we are stupid.

Granted some of us are less stupid than others, but we are all stupid.

Einstein was not really smart; he was just way less stupid than most of us...but he was still stupid.

For this to become a better world, we need to all realize that we are stupid.  Before we offer an opinion, take an action, do anything, we must make our decisions through the clouded lens of “I know I am stupid.”

Some of the most dangerous people in the world are stupid people who do not know they are stupid! 

Some of the most successful people in the world are people who try things that should not work because they are too stupid to know they won’t work and because of this stupidity they keep trying until they succeed.

So, there you have it.  Not only did I used to be stupid, but I am now stupid and tomorrow I will be stupid.  If I am not successful in whatever is determined to be successful by stupid people, it will be because I have been so smart that I know I am stupid and have not tried stupid things that stupid people manage to do successfully because they are too stupid to know those things cannot be done. 

I am also not dangerous, because I know I am stupid.

Old age has given me the wisdom to know I have been, am now, and will always be stupid. 

I also happen to be very happy. 

If I was less stupid, I would probably have a zillion reasons why I should be miserable.

If you are miserable, it is probably because you are just not that stupid…but then it is kind of stupid to be miserable. 

ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, WE ARE ALL STUPID.

Does this post make any sense at all? Probably not, because…well, you know.

 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

REAL REALITY TV

 

REAL REALITY TV

 

I am sure it would not be a shock to most readers of this blog that this cranky old man is a fan of reality TV.  As a knuckle dragging Neanderthal, (no offense intended to actual Neanderthals) mostly conservative, of course I would be a fan of Reality TV. 

Now, I am not a complete idiot, I know that most of Reality TV is not really reality, it is semi-real with semi-real situation staged by producers who realize reality does not bring ratings unless it is prodded a bit.

Anyway, I do watch some RTV.

I have a sensitive side that watches “Say Yes to The Dress.”  I am a big fan of Randy the gay dress guru.  I also follow “Married at First sight” and “90 Day Fiancé.”

But when I feel like a macho cranky old man, my go-to shows are “Deadliest Catch” and “Gold Rush.”

These shows also have a little bit of unreality prodding to make them interesting, but mostly they are the actual real deal.

“The Deadliest Catch” follows crab boats in Alaska.  These dudes risk their lives so the rest of us can enjoy the tasty meat of King and Snow crab from the Bearing Sea.  They are tough, and they are resourceful, the crabbers not the crab…the crab are sweet and tender.

“Gold Rush” follows gold miners, also in Alaska.  They are also tough and resourceful.  In both these shows, the tough guys overcome problems, sometimes life threatening, with MacGyver type fixes to equipment and with incredible personal endurance.

My favorites in these shows are two young snot-nosed kids that have been with the shows from the very beginnings, 10 years or more.

Jake Anderson was first seen as a lowly 18-year-old bait boy on the “Northwestern”, a boat captained by a tough Norwegian old salt. 

He was pushed to the edge in the worst ocean conditions you could imagine and never complained.  He was picked on and mocked as apparently all “Greenhorns” are picked on and mocked by the veteran crab crew.  He never complained. He only wanted to learn each job and he kept coming back for more, no matter how much work and abuse was piled on him.  In the end, after his first crab trip, he earned the respect of the captain and the rest of the crew.

In the ensuing years of the show, Jake has worked his way from bait boy, to top deck hand and engineer.  He learned everything there is to learn about running a ship, maintaining a ship, and leading a crew. 

Jake earned his Captain license and has for the last few years been Captain of his own ship with partial ownership.  This one-time bait boy is now, after only a few years, become not only a realty TV star, but also a millionaire boat owner. 

My other favorite star is Parker Schnabel.  Parker was also a snot-nosed kid when he first appeared on “Gold Rush.”  A 17-year-old who spent summers working on his grandpa’s mine, Parker skipped college, much to his parent’s chagrin and dove head on into gold mining. 

He started out scraping maybe 20 ounces of gold from his grandfather’s mine (as much a hobby for Grandpa as a vocation).  Parker now runs a mine company with several million dollars of equipment, and pulls out almost 7000 ounces of gold a year, every year, worth over 10 million dollars. 

He has made a zillion mistakes along the way.  As a snot-nosed kid it has not been easy earning the respect of gnarly heavy equipment running miners, but he has succeeded.

Being an old fart who has not really done much with my own life, I often complain about our younger generation of self-absorbent, woke, entitled, snot-nosed kids, because that is what old farts who have not really done much with their own life have always done.

Then I watch real snot-nosed kids like Jake and Parker and I realize I should probably just shut the front door.

I think we will be just fine with this generation.   

 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

I Don’t Know the Man…but

 

I Don’t Know the Man…but

  Just this one time, I am pausing my moratorium on political commentary.

 

I don’t know the man.  Maybe he is a sweet old guy who has been a force for good all his life.  Maybe he is a bullying prick.  Maybe he has been a devoted statesman, maybe he has been a political hack.  How would I know, I don’t know the man?

I do know the symptoms.  I have seen them before.  I have a few of them myself. 

I do know that if he was my doctor, I’d want second opinion.  If he was my surgeon, I’d postpone the operation. 

If he was an engineer, I would not be the first car over his bridge.

If he was my teacher, I’d question his facts.  If he taught math, I’d check his work.

If he was my pilot, I’d change my flight.

If he was a cashier, I’d count my change.

If he was a chef, I would not take big bites of his servings.

If he was my uncle, I’d roll my eyes at his repeated stories while I still loved him.  If he was my dad, I’d make sure mom did the driving.

If he was my only choice as a baby sitter, I’d stay home that night.

He is probably a very nice man, he seems to be well liked, but people change as they age, some more than others.  

I suspect many people would not trust this man as their doctor/surgeon, engineer, teacher, pilot, cashier, chef or baby sitter. 

They would still love their uncle and worry about their dad, and they would pray for their President and their Country.

 

 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Analyze This

 

Analyze This



I may be guilty of Old Fogyism, but I just have to comment. 

Are there any millennials listening? 

Probably not.

Here is the thing, I’m watching the latest episode of “Married at First Sight” (so you know this will be an intellectual opinion) and I am amazed by how much these millennials over analyze EVERYTHING!

“He said such and such, that must mean he isn’t happy.”

No, it just means such and such; stop reading something into EVERYTHING!  

Everything someone says does not have some deeper meaning.

Millennials often have choices for almost everything they do, and apparently these choices all might have major consequences. 

I tell you it must be exhausting when you think every decision you make from where you eat to what book you read might affect you in some way for the rest of your life.  Every gosh dang decision these people make is considered to be possibly life altering.

OK, where you live, what you do to earn a living, how many children might you have, these deserve thought and attention, but even these major events should not leave you paralyzed with fear and indecision.

Yeah, back in the day you lived where you had to live, to work at a job you had to do, and there was often no choice either way.  You had children if you had sex because there were no sure-fire methods to prevent them.  Choice in having children was hormone driven.

Back in the day, (sure sign of old fogyism) it was difficult not having choices, yet in some ways it was liberating.  No need to ponder and worry, you did what you did and it was what it was.

Choices are great until you start to over analyze every choice and worry before and after every decision. 

I wonder if a millennial could even play a game like golf.

“Should I try and hit the ball to the left and avoid the sand trap, or aim right and hope I don’t put it in the woods?  I could aim straight but if it goes too far, I might find the lake.”

“Dude, you going to hit or not?”

“Yes, but this is a tough decision, it might make or ruin my whole day, and if I ruin my day I will be in a bad mood, if I am in a bad mood my wife will notice and think it is something she did.  If my wife thinks it is something she did, it will ruin her day and she will start a fight about it.  She won’t believe my mood is over a golf game and will assume I am cheating on her.  If she thinks I am cheating we will get a divorce.  If I get a divorce, I will lose most of my friends, go into deep depression get fired from my job, and my life will be ruined!”

“You could always take a Mulligan.”  (Golf expression for a do over).

No decision is often worse than a bad decision.  Certainly, over analyzing every decision and worrying even after the fact is not productive.  It may be why therapists are so busy these days.

Millennials need to learn that life will sometimes give you a mulligan and you have to just swing the damn club!

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

STUPID HEADLINES 090521

 

STUPID HEADLINES 090521

So many bad headlines, how about some that are just stupid.

 

Emily Ratajkowski Returned to the Runway for the First Time Since Giving Birth in a Hot Pink Thong – Why would anyone give birth wearing a hot pink thong?

 

Rolex watch shortage is a 'perfect storm' Fortunately I anticipated this shortage and stocked up on Rolex’s along with toilet paper.

 

Woman struts through airport wearing only bikini and mask – Apparently, she made a wrong turn on the way to Wal-Mart.

 

Great blue heron eats a rat in Central Park If NYC had a few hundred thousand more great blue herons, maybe they could finally control the rat population.

 

Brady Bunch’ star Barry Williams reflects on bonding with his TV family – Here’s a story, of a man named Barry, reflecting on his family from TV…

Indiana football jersey features embarrassing spelling error – “Indiana…what is the origin? Can you use it in a sentence? Indiana…I n d i  n i a.”

Famed Singaporean eatery Hawker Chan loses its Michelin star – I’d check the dumpster in the back.

ABBA to drop first studio album in 40 years – Oh, big deal, just pick the damn thing up.

Drake drops new album 'Certified Lover Boy' – Holy Cow! What the hell, just hold on to your damn albums people!

Mercedes reveals electric luxury models for on-and off-road – If it is electric, I’m pretty sure it will only work when the road is ON.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Almost as Difficult as Crab Fishing in the Bering Sea

 

Almost as Difficult as Crab Fishing in the Bering Sea

 

 

One of my favorite TV shows is “The Deadliest Catch.”  It is about fishing for King and Snow crab in the Bering Sea, Alaska.  These fishermen are out in the most difficult and dangerous conditions, just so the rest of us can enjoy the sweet tasty meat of the crabs they trap.

Yes, they are paid pretty well for what some may think is unskilled labor, but there is a lot of skill involved.  The number one skill is staying alive and out of the freezing water.  They also have to put out fires and repair equipment on the fly in the most difficult conditions imaginable.

Is there a more difficult job in the world?

Maybe not as dangerous in the same way, but the real most difficult job in the world has to be White House Press Secretary.

I can not remember a WHPS in the past that has not been excoriated by at least one half of the country on any and every given day.

When there is good news on the economy, the international front, or on general US living conditions, The President takes the credit and takes a bow. 

The WHPS introduces him.

When there is bad news, or an embarrassing situation for the President, the WHPS gets in front of the nation and tries to put a positive spin on every question.  They have to dip and dodge the tough questions; they have to withhold some information without appearing to be withholding anything.  They have to misinterpret some questions and quickly move on; they have to promise to get back on some questions when they know they will not.  They have to often defend the undefendable, and take most of the blame and heat on themselves. They have to do all this and maintain a cheerful calm positive disposition.

The WHPS knows who will be throwing softball questions, and who will be throwing high hard ones right at their noggin.  They have to take questions from both, to avoid the high hard one is to essentially admit the White House is not in control.

Most of the latest WHPS’s have been women.  Their appearance, somehow becomes as important as their demeanor. In addition to having to answer sometimes impossible questions with a positive spin, and having to defend Presidential actions that they might personally disagree with, they are then belittled, mocked and made fun of on Saturday Night Live.

Sometimes the President gets a pass, the WHPS is always fair game.

The job is much like the crab fishermen.  They have to think on the fly and repair impossible situations with only their wits and guile and courage. 

The fishermen bring us crab.

The WHPS must cover up crap.

You couldn’t pay me enough.  

I do enjoy watching both shows.