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Monday, June 27, 2022

Thoughts About God


Thoughts About God

I am not a religious man.  I believe there is a powerful force that is responsible for life.  Based on the beauty around me this force could not be evil. 

I was raised Christian.  Do I believe all I was taught?  Truthfully, no.  What I was taught came from other humans.  I believe Jesus was a human.  A very special human.  Son of God?  Maybe…what do I know, and why do I believe just because I have been told so?

I do believe in a powerful force.  Let’s call it God.  No matter what science can explain, eventually all answers come to God.  The first molecule…where did it come from?  Has to be God.  That molecule evolved into the world as we know it?  

God apparently has lots of time and lots of patience.

Anyway, that is my religious belief.  I hope there is an afterlife, that would be nice, assuming of course I have lived well enough to go up and not down.

So, I do believe in God, but beyond that I have no idea what he has in mind for us or if there is anything else beyond what we currently know.  I was fine before I was born…I, when the time comes…

I do pray, or try and talk to God from time to time.  Recently I have been asking for help to get a few friends through some difficult times.

Then I have been reading about people in cultures that have difficulties which make problems of mine and my love ones seem like less than nothing.

If God chooses to help the truly unfortunate, my friends, family and myself need to pick a number which is not likely to be called…EVER!

I had this thought as I was enjoying some nice wine, and a fine cigar, while sitting by the ocean and watching my grandson try and catch fish in the surf.

What am I asking God to do for me?  I have had some difficult times.  I have been kicked in the teeth a few times, but on the whole, I have all that most people could ever want.  What nerve for me to ask God for anything.

And so, my prayer turned from “Please help this person” or “Please get me through this issue” to:

THANK YOU!!  Thank you for all I have and for all you have given me.  I’ve done nothing to deserve what I have while so many have so little, so THANK YOU!

I grew up hearing “Ask and you shall receive” and I think for many that sentiment should really just be “Thank you for what you have given me!”

Maybe I’ve just had a bit too much wine.


Sunday, June 26, 2022




 The following endorsement is unsolicited.  This cranky old man has received no remuneration for this post.

For 15 years I have had an arthritic hip.  It was not medically diagnosed, so maybe it was something else, after all, I am not a doctor.  However, I am also not a meteorologist but I can tell when it is raining…so…I think the condition was arthritis.

My hip issue was not debilitating, but I could not run, sometimes walked with a limp and especially noticed it when walking up or down stairs.  I learned to live with it.  I could still play golf and bowl, I seldom needed to run anywhere and, so I limped going up and down stairs not a big deal.

About one year ago, Mrs. C saw an add for a pain relief product, “Hempvana.” Mrs. C will purchase just about anything she sees on TV.  UPS has our address on speed dial.  Most of the stuff she buys is crap.  Sometimes she finds a winner.

I tried the Hempvana.  I applied it several times a day for a week.  Then I stopped.  I stopped because I didn’t think about it.  I didn’t think about it because my hip never bothered me.  I did not limp.  I could go up and down stairs without issue and if chased by a bear, I think I could even run.

Why it is called HEMPvana I am not sure.  Hemp does not seem to be the major ingredient.  Applied topically it does not give you a “Mary Jane high” it just makes pain disappear.

My hip is basically cured.  Sometimes I use it on my neck and I have one knuckle and a big toe that is arthritic…works for them as well.

I assume the stuff either works or it provides a placebo effect.  Either way, who cares.

I have since mentioned it to several friends who complained about similar aches and pains.  My son, who is a physical fitness teacher and health fanatic, complained about a shoulder problem. 

He tried the stuff.

Three times a day for a week.  Problem gone!

Best I can tell the stuff is just a topical application of aspirin that gets to the joint.  Who knows…it works for me.

As several people upon my recommendation have found relief from joint pain, I am offering this endorsement as a public service.

Friends who have spent lots of money on chiropractors and physical therapists have found real relief from this stuff.

For $10 a jar it couldn’t hurt.  It is sold all over, I think Mrs. C got it at Walgreens.

If you try the stuff and it doesn't work, sorry I may have cost you $10.

If you try the stuff and it works; You're welcome!



Monday, June 13, 2022

FISHING WITH FROG one more time


FISHING WITH FROG one more time

Frog, Catfish, Cranky, Marty filling in for Joby (we're not so good at taking pictures.)

Readers of this blog that have been with me since the beginning may be familiar with the “Fishing With Frog” series.  These posts detail the many annual fly-fishing trips with old, and I mean old, fraternity brothers in various Western Maryland streams.  There have been several characters, but every year includes Frog, and Catfish.

My last trip was in 2016, I have been missing due to previous engagements, aching bones, and Covid, but in 2022 I returned.

If you have any interest in previous posts, and they are actually reasonably entertaining if you have no life, go to the upper left corner where the little spyglass thing is and type “Fishing with Frog.”  All the posts along with their links will magically appear.


This years trip, along with Frog and Catfish was Joe to most, Joby to us and Mr. Cady to neighborhood 8-year-olds.

We left on Wednesday morning for a 5-hour drive and stayed at a very nice soup to nuts condo/cabin that Catfish found.  It took twenty minutes and a lot of cussing before Frog mastered the complicated 6 numeric entry code and we were in.  I did say we were old, didn’t I?

As soon as we unpacked it was off to the first stream.  I caught no fish; I did manage to lose my wading stick which made getting back to dry land a bit dicey…I survived. Frog caught three rainbow trout, and Catfish nailed two fish, one a very large rainbow. 

Joby had little luck.

The next day we tried a new stream.  It looked nice, but there were no fish.  I know there were no fish because Catfish did not catch any fish.  Frog sometimes does not catch a fish, if Catfish gets skunked, it is because there were no fish.  That afternoon we retuned to the first stream.  No bueno. I think Catfish caught one.

Friday, we tried a stream a bit further away that Catfish, based on previous trips, was convinced would not have any trout.

Catfish was wrong. 

There were fish.  He caught several, even an elusive golden trout, as did Frog.  I believe Joby got a few as well, me not so much.  I did however manage to not lose a single fly either by a birds-nest cast or a snagged tree branch.  This was a victory for me. 

Before we broke for lunch, Catfish called me over to a productive spot, demonstrated a new technique, and tied on a new fly.

With his tutoring I caught three small mouth bass and a croaker.  Actually, Catfish caught the first fish while demonstrating how to present the fly, but he quick handed me the rod to reel it in, promising not to tell any one I did not hook it. 

We did get a picture.

There is too a fish in that net!

As many times as I have gone fishing, I am always shocked to actually catch a fish. 

We left the stream for a lunch break and returned later.

Frog and I tried a new spot on the stream.  It was not very deep.  The rocks were slick.  I know it was not too deep because the damn slick rocks caused me to do a full-on face plant into the stream…twice.  That was the end for me.  I returned to our car and climbed out of my waders and tried to dry off…not very successfully.  Oh, BTW I lost my driving glasses on the second slip.

I finished the day while the others ran into some very good dry-fly fishing, with a nice cigar which I smoked down further than a hobo and listened to the Yankee game on the radio.

Later, a shower, some scotch and a steak never tasted so good.

That is the thing about fishing, especially fly-fishing.  Part of it is fun, much is really hard and tiring, a whole lot is frustrating as heck, especially for a nubie like myself; but a shower will never feel better and a cigar, scotch and steak could never taste as good.

Will I do it again next year?  

Kind of like a woman who just had a baby…no way…

Then, you forget the difficulty, the frustration and the unplanned-on swim.  Eventually the thought of actually catching a fish, and the taste of a steak, scotch and a good cigar kicks in.

Like a woman who amazingly enough will have another baby, I suspect I will do it all over again. (The fishing trip that is!)    




Monday, June 6, 2022

Stop the World, we want to get off


Stop the World, we want to get off

Written by we, ourselves and us.

I recently read an article about a protestor who tied themselves to the net during a French Tennis Open match.  The article said they were an environmental protestor.  I found something about the article confusing…I must be getting old.  

Of course, I was under the impression that pronouns are to be used based on a person's choice, but apparently the media is now deciding that if not specified, the accepted LGBTQIA+ pronouns should be used.

I shouldn’t be confused about the new use of pronouns.  Nothing wrong with political correctness.  I am learning; for instance, this happened the other day:

We were shopping at the market by ourselves and we started to talk to the person behind us.  They were only buying a few items, so we asked them if they wanted to step in line in front of us.  We were alone as were they and not in a hurry.  My wife was at home and they weren’t waiting for us for anything, so we figured we could let them step in front of us and it would not bother my wife who was home alone by themselves.

Anyway, this person replied that it was OK, they were not in a hurry so they could wait.

While the two of us were chatting, the cashier asked us for our store card while they rang up our groceries.  We then bagged our groceries, we paid and left.

The person behind thanked us for our gesture and we told them they were welcome.

If this is confusing, at least it does not offend, after all, that is very important.


Saturday, June 4, 2022

That "Called to see the principal feeling"


That "Called to see the principal feeling"


This cranky old man is a law-abiding citizen.  I have not been given a speeding ticket in 58 years… (OK, one but that was a turnpike speed trap where I was one of 8 cars pulled over at a time for speeding in a “construction” area.  Every car on that highway was exceeding the limit.  It would have been dangerous to drive the “construction” area limit.)

I have never been in jail, never been in trouble.  (I did steal a .30 yo-yo from EJ Korvettes when I was 11, but I got away with that one.)

Anyway, I am your basic “goody two-shoes.”

So, why do I often get that “called to see the principal feeling”?

Is it just me?  Why do I suddenly feel like I am guilty of something whenever a police car happens to be behind me? I check my speed, start signaling for no reason, and break out in a cold sweat.  It is a wonder I don’t get pulled over for

“Looking guilty of something!”

I get that feeling whenever I have to make a banking transaction.  Wells Fargo, a bank that has had their own corporate wrists slapped several times recently, always makes me feel like I am doing something illegal.

This is the bank that asked for a thumb print when I deposited money into my own account.  This is the bank that for a year charged me $2 every time I used a non-Wells Fargo ATM machine and never disclosed that information to me. 

I would use a different bank; except I like their on-line system and don’t want to learn a new one.

Anyway, today I had to deposit money from my account at a different bank into Mrs. C’s Wells Fargo account.  Mrs. C generally makes this monthly transaction, but today she was busy and it had to be done for bill paying purposes.

I was carefully instructed in the process.

“Make your check out to cash, sign the back “For deposit only to Mrs. C” and write my account number on that side.  Hand it to the teller along with a deposit slip with the date, and the amount.   The account number is on the deposit slip.”

I did as instructed and went to the bank.  Approaching the teller, I felt like George Costanza ordering a “medium turkey chili” from the Soup Nazi.

“May I help you?”

I slid the check and the deposit slip under the window and stepped aside.

“Is this a deposit?”

“Um hum.” (I would have thought the deposit slip was a dead give away but was still, for some reason, intimidated.)

“Is this for someone else?”

Why is she asking me this, do I look like a Mrs. C?

“Yes, that is my wife’s account.”

Now, Mrs. C never took my last name as she did not want to change 873 different forms and identifications.

Peering over lowered reading glasses, “She has a different name?”


She looked at me up and down.  I tried not to flinch and look guilty.

Finally, after much stamping and filing she handed me a receipt.  “Have a nice day.”

I left feeling as if I pulled off the crime of the century, and didn’t even get detention.

I should probably see a therapist. 



Thursday, June 2, 2022

Things That make me Cranky


Things That make me Cranky


I’m old.  I don’t like most new things.  I don’t like most new trends.  Nothing wrong with new things.  Nothing wrong with new trends.  I just don’t like most of them.  I’m old.

The following is a list of new things and new trends that particularly are the aluminum foil on my dental fillings.


“My mom house.”  Umm, (‘S)!  What happened to the possessive?

“I had went to the store.”  I get tense over tenses.  Went, or had gone, “had went” is a splinter under my fingernail.

“You guyses.” I’m pretty sure the plural of guy is guys.

"I borrowed him some money" Umm, do you mean you lent some money to him?

At this point let me say my grammar is far from perfect, and I am a lousy speller, but how did people get past second grade with “My mom house.” “I had went to the store.”  “You guyses.” and "I borrowed him some money"? I’m pretty sure these people have NEVER been corrected.  Are teachers today afraid to correct kids on grammar? WHY??

Anyway, on with my list.

People do not know how to cross the street.  You might want to at least look first.  Hell, I look both ways crossing a one-way street.

Personal pronouns!!!  ARRRRGH!! Burns like fresh cheese pizza on my palate.

Literally/Actually/Awesome.  ARRRGH!!!

Cell phones  OK, actually I often literally think they are awesome...sometimes.

Things that “trigger” people.  Send me a list and I will try to avoid the 187,264 things that “trigger” people today.

People with crazy eyes that are allowed to buy guns.  Need I explain?

Alexa. Just because.

Music blaring from a car with windows down.  If you turn the music down and roll up the windows you can enjoy it and I won’t hear it…I get it, you are cool.

Strangers who tell me to “smile things can’t be that bad!”  You don’t know that…FUCK YOU!!

People who brag about not watching TV.  I don’t go to OPERA, and I’ve never seen or desire to see “Hamilton” but I don’t brag about it…WTF?

People who need to tell me that Golf is just a stupid game where you chase a little ball around the grass.  Yeah, and Nuclear Physics is just splitting an atom.

Lists of stupid things that annoy…wait…

OK, I’m done.