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Friday, September 22, 2023




I see there is a big hoo-haw in the US Senate over the relaxing of a long-standing dress code.

It brings me back to my College Fraternity days.  

Our House had a dinner dress code which required a tie and jacket in the dinning area during meals.  I don’t recall for sure, but I believe pants were also required.

This code went back to the old days of snotty wealthy ass-hats being the only people who went to college.  In the 60’s, only two-thirds of college young men were snotty wealthy ass-hats; still the dinner dress code prevailed.

Of course, the other one-third, at least in our House, rebelled.

Surprise, I was one of the one-third.  I admit to being an ass-hat, but I was not that snotty and was less wealthy than many others.

It is easy to challenge a dress code.  In those days our house rebels would don wrinkled shirts matched with a clip-on gravy-stained poor taste tie and a cheap ratty sports coat.

Dress codes are a joke.

Recently I attended our annual reunion with these now less snotty, less ass-hattery, many still wealthy Fraternity Brothers.

At our Friday dinner, I wore a nice button-down shirt with a nice sports jacket and tie. 

I was over dressed. 

I was given a friendly fraternity BOS (bag of s___) over my attire.

A dress code like many laws or rules in society is just a “legal” way to enforce generally accepted standards.  It does not need to be strictly enforced except to subvert egregious behavior. 

Show up to a function in your underwear and you may not be allowed entry.

“Sorry sir, we require everyone to wear clothes…it is in our by-laws.”

This rule should not be needed, except there is always some jerk who cannot meet normal minimal standards of decorum. 

The alternative to a dress code is social banishment.  If you dress like a clown, you get treated like a clown.  You are ignored, you are marginalized. 

Acceptable attire can’t be legislated.  Any code can be mocked, especially if it is antiquated, much like wearing a clip-on gravy-stained tie back in the old fraternity days.

We don’t have rules against picking your nose in public, that behavior is patrolled by the mutual disgust of your peers.  If behavior or “dress” is unacceptable, society has ways of dealing with such behavior.

If an elected US Senator chooses to legislate dressed like a clown, he should not be stopped by any rule.  The “rule” should be unwritten common sense.  The consequence of “weird“ behavior should be censure, lack of respect, ineffective legislating, and ultimately a loss in the next election.

If a Senator can legislate effectively and be reelected while dressing like Uncle Fester, it is no gravy off my clip-on tie.




Saturday, September 9, 2023

Cranky at a Concert


Cranky at a Concert


Tonight, I went to a concert with my friend Frog. 

The State Theater in New Brunswick featured Tommy Emmanuel.  You may not have ever heard of Tommy Emmanuel, but he an Australian who is the BEST ACUSTIC GUITAR player in the world.  I can not even explain his unbelievable talents, but that is not the real subject of this blog.

Yes, as usual, this post is about my lovely wife…Mrs. Cranky.

Mrs. C for want of better words, is a piece of work.

She currently works part time at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ.  And as such, she is an expert in all things State Theater Concerts. 

She did not work this night; she is in Florida with a friend exploring Disney World for the 17th time…don’t even get me started.

Anyway, she knew I would like to see Tommy E, and she got tickets for Frog and I months ago. 

Thank you so much.

That was great of you, but it seems that Mrs. C does not believe I am capable of actually going to see a concert in the “Big City” (New Brunswick) by myself.

I guess she thinks that even with Frog, who has a Doctorate in History (well almost…there is still a thesis that needs to be submitted…is 55 years too late?) still equals “by myself”.


Here is what I get:

“Where are you going to park? Don’t go to the lot that requires paying through a link from a QR code, you’ll never figure that one out… (OK, she is right about that) go to the Morris Parking lot where you just get a ticket and pay on the way out.


“And to get to that lot you need to…blah blah blah…”

I’m not listening to her directions, because I’m going to just plug the address into the car GPS anyway, but here comes the coo de gras. (OK, I could look up the spelling of that French term, but coo de gras will have to do).


She tells me, “When you pay for the parking, your validated ticket will give you 15 minutes to leave.  Sometimes there is a delay from all the cars in the lot getting out, so you need to either get out first, or delay and let the lot clear out so you can leave within the 15 minutes.”

Now that seemed ridiculous to me.  But if true and it took more than 15 minutes to leave the lot, what would happen?  Would I be stuck behind gates that would not open and spend the night in New Brunswick?

As silly as this seemes, thank you very much for sticking that thought in my head!

As much as I enjoyed the concert, I had it in the back of my mind that we might not get out of the lot within the 15-minute time frame.


Stuck in a parking lot, holding up other parkers, all because I didn’t either run like a rabbit to beat the crowd, or delay long enough to let the lot clear out.  OH, the shame if that would happen. 

Thank you very much for putting that catastrophe in my head!

What did happen?

After the concert there was a line in the lot to validate the parking ticket, then there was a 5–10-minute delay to get to the gate.  From there, an attendant took the validated ticket, tore it up without even looking at the validation time, and opened the gate.

There was no issue.

The lot was not worried about anyone cheating them out of 15 minutes or more of parking time, they just wanted to keep the line moving.

The concert was great.  Tommy Emmanual does things with a guitar that should not be possible.

I had a great time…except for that fear worm of being stranded in a parking lot that only Mrs. C could plant in my head.


And yet I still love her.



Wednesday, August 9, 2023





I like to think of myself as an amateur bird watcher.  I am not a “Birder,” one of those crazy people who hike through the woods with shorts, a floppy hat and binoculars strapped around their necks keeping track in a little book of every new bird they happen to spot.

I am not one of those people, though it would not take much to flip me…I’m just missing the floppy hat and the little book.

Anyway, I am a bird watcher, not a “Birder.”  Got it from my mom who always had a “Birds of North America” book handy in case an unusual bird stopped by our yard. 

Last night I was prepping the BBQ for dinner with my friend Frog who was visiting for one of our periodic guitar butchery get togethers.

I heard a bird call of which I was not familiar.

“Kee Aw Scree…Kee Aw Scree!”

Frog heard it too and as he is another armature bird watcher whose mom had the same book; he came running outside from the kitchen.

“What is that?” he inquired.

“You heard it too.”


“Kee Aw Scree…Kee Aw Scree!”

“There it is again!”

“It’s not a song bird that’s for sure.”

“Definitely, some kind of raptor.”


“I have seen a small hawk around here from time to time.”

“I’ll bet it’s an immature Sharp Shinned Hawk.”

“Could be, or a Coopers, not much difference.”

“Kee Aw Scree…Kee Aw Scree!”

“There it is again, and it’s not moving, must be in a nest somewhere.”

I pulled out my phone, “Siri, show me the call of a Sharp Shinned Hawk.”

Over the phone came, “The Sharp Shinned Hawk makes a Kik Kik Kik call.”

“Well, it’s not a Sharped Shinned.”

“Kee Aw Scree…Kee Aw Scree!”

“There it is again.”

 “Kee Aw Scree…Kee Aw Scree! Wee, this is fun daddy!”

“Hmm, it is either some kind of small raptor, or your neighbor’s swing set needs some WD40!”

“Well, that was exciting…how do you want your steak?”

Like I said, I am an amateur bird watcher.




Wednesday, July 26, 2023




This week is the 367 annual “Shark Week” on the Discovery channel. 

I love shark week.  Sharks are cool, scary, but cool. 

Apparently, according to the “Shark Week” experts, shark’s reputation as man eaters is overdone and sharks are really quite safe.  Your chances of getting hit by lightening are 100 times greater than getting bit by a shark.  Of course, if you spent the same amount of time swimming in shark infested water as you do out of the water during thunder storms, those odds might be quite a bit different.

Anyway, sharks are cool and I enjoy learning about them on “Shark Week.”  I do want to throw a penalty flag on some of their episodes.

A common thread to “Shark Week” segments is:

“Sharks are a valuable part of our eco-system.  Without sharks the oceans eco-balance would be disturbed and…we will all die! (some exaggeration on the all die part, but implied.)

Because our continued existence is dependent on sharks, it is incredibly important that we study and learn more about sharks so we can protect their population.” (again some exaggeration, but implied,)

Now I am not throwing the penalty flag on protecting sharks or their importance in our eco-system.  I have a nephew who is a marine biologist.  His wife is a marine biologist.  They are both beyond brilliant.  My friend Frog’s son is a marine biologist.  He is beyond brilliant.  I am certain they would all tell me,

“Yes Uncle Cranky, sharks are very important to the ocean ecology.”

See, I am not arguing that, though it may be a tiny bit overblown, I am questioning how these “Shark Week” experts study sharks.  I suspect they are more concerned with getting entertaining content for “Shark Week” than they are in learning about and protecting sharks.

For instance, I just watched an episode where the experts captured a Sleeper Shark.  Now, sleeper sharks live over 6000 feet deep, and even though they live to be over 250 years old they are very rare to see.

These experts baited hooks and sank them to sleeper shark depths.  They left the hooks overnight and returned the next day where they were ecstatic to have caught an 8-footer (small for sleeper sharks).

They raved about how important this catch was.  They would take all the shark’s statistics, length weight etc., tag it and release it.


“This is an incredible opportunity.  To capture one of these magnificent animals is super rare.  We can tag it and later learn about its habits; where it feeds, how fast it grows, all information which will help us to preserve the species and save all humanity from extinction.” (They did not say that last part, but again, it was kind of implied.)

Anyway, here is my problem with all this. 

Hooking a large animal at 6000 feet deep and not pulling it up for a day must be very stressful on that animal.  It seems to me hauling it up 6000 feet must not be good for the animal (do large fish get the bends?) Finally, if it is so super rare to capture this animal, how valuable will tagging it be?  I mean will it ever be caught again to gather all that valuable information? 

I say, if you want to preserve this species, leave it the frig alone!  The damn things live over 250 years, I don’t think they need our help.  The capture and tag charade in this case was more about content for TV than it was to save the sleeper shark.

It was however, very cool, and interesting.

BTW, sleeper sharks are not known to attack people (maybe because people don’t often swim 6000 feet below the surface) so you are safer swimming with sleeper sharks than playing golf in the rain.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

I Thought I was Just Joking


I Thought I was Just Joking

Years ago, I posted about an issue I had with climate change. 

I envisioned a situation where a country could devise a way to control the climate.  It sounded like a wonderful pipe dream until I gave it more thought.

Have you ever lived in a home with sleeping quarters on two floors?  Invariably on really hot nights there is a thermostat battle.

Because hot air rises the upstairs is always sweltering in the summer, so upstairs residents will lower the air conditioner at night.  The lower temperature starts to freeze out the lower floor sleepers so they clomp out in the middle of the night and raise the temperature.  This back and forth thermostat battle can go on all night and no one gets any sleep.

If we we could control the planets climate, would we experience the same thermostat battle?

Would the world thermostat controller decide that the Winter was too cold and raise the temperature, only to find those countries that rely on colder temperatures would complain.

“Hey, what the Hell, we need snow for our ski resorts!”

If they had also developed a climate control machine would they drop the temperature right back?

“Hey, turn it up, our fruit crops are frosted and dying!”

You see the problem don’t you.

To me years ago it was just a semi-humorous concept of trying to make everyone happy with the Earth’s climate.

Well, I just read an article about our current administration considering flooding the atmosphere with tiny particles much like that of a volcano eruption to defect the sun’s rays and stop global warming.

Would we be able to do this in a way that only effects our country?

Who would decide on how much to reduce the sun’s rays? Do all the countries get a vote? Are the votes weighted based on population? Would there be any adverse effects with such an experiment?

What could possibly go wrong?





Sunday, July 16, 2023





Years ago, and I mean a lot of years ago, the Good Humor truck and it’s magic jingle was a standard in every community.  The man in a clean white suit sold popsicles of various flavors, the classic chocolate covered vanilla on a stick, drumsticks, the creamsicle and fudgesicle, and my favorite, toasted almond bars.

There were no strange fancy flavors, pretty much vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream and cherry, orange, lemon, and lime popsicles.  Oh yah, also my fav…raspberry.

In warm weather, after school, a truck was always waiting.  As a middle class young Cranky eight-year-old, I always had change in my pocket to make a Good Humor purchase. 

Those days I brought my lunch and purchased a small milk at school.  The milk cost three cents, and my wealthy middle-class mom would give me a dime every day for the milk.  Because I excelled in math, I know this left me with seven cents jingling in my pocket every day to invest, or to buy ice-cream.

Had I invested the seven cents every day in a hot stock like Polaroid, I would have been rich…that is until Polaroid crapped out, so instead I wisely went the eight-year-old direction and bought ice-cream.

I still remember the Good Humor prices.  Popsicles on one stick were exactly seven cents.  Two stick popsicles were a dime along with the standard bar, drumsticks, and an ice-cream sandwich.  A creamsicle or a fudgsicle (pronounced fugicle) were twelve-cents.  A toasted almond was fifteen cents, or two plus days of milk money change.

Most days I went with a seven-cent raspberry one-stick.  On rare occasions I would skip a day and after maybe cashing in a two-cent deposit coke bottle to splurge and buy my absolute favorite the toasted almond bar.

Time passes and the uniformed man and his truck has disappeared, but there is still Good Humor at the store.  In my current affluent fixed income retired state, I am able to splurge often and purchase a whole box of decadent toasted almond bars.  

The toasted almond bar is one of the few things Mrs. Cranky and I can agree on.  It may be the glue to our otherwise often contentious relationship.

The last year we have been unable to find our favorite ice-cream treat.  We assumed it was always just sold out as it was everyone’s favorite.

Horrors to horrors, I recently learned through one of ex-blogger Suldog’s daily Facebook surveys, that the toasted almond bar is no longer in production.


The most decadent treat of my childhood is gone!  They sell crap like a strawberry shortcake and bars shaped like cartoon characters but not the best ice-cream bar ever, TOASTED ALMOND!

I am disgusted.  My marriage may not survive.

At least they still sell creamsicles and fudgesicles.

Come to think of it I haven’t seen a fudgesicle bar in years.

What the Hell is happening in this country?

Thursday, June 15, 2023





Mrs. C and I just returned from helping her son and DIL move from North Jersey to Amish country in Pennsylvania.  The move was a little over 250 miles to a very nice new two-bedroom apartment.

While the kids drove out ahead to sign papers, check in and do whatever you have to do when moving into a new home, Mrs. C led the way for Cranky to drive a van of the kids possessions.

Sounded easy enough when I volunteered driving duty, until I saw the truck.

How two kids could accumulate so much stuff that had to follow them I have no idea.  The Truck that was packed to the hilt was a 26-foot U-Haul van.  Not an eighteen-wheeler, but for an old man, it was a big honking truck.

Driving this thing about scared the stuffings out of me.  A big full truck does not accelerate very fast.  It does not slow down very fast.  When you veer just a bit while answering Mrs. C on the cell phone, it does not recover quickly.  I may have hit those wake-up strips on the highway more than a few times, and I rode them for several seconds when I did.

At one point Mrs. C called and asked,

“Is the truck pulling to the right?”

This was her polite way of asking,

“Do you know what the Hell you’re doing, or are you falling asleep?”

I assured her the only thing wrong with the steering was the driver.

Anyway, I certainly gained new appreciation for the men and women who keep our economy running by handling those really, big trucks, part of the lifeblood of our economy.

When we did reach our destination, we now needed to unload this monstrosity.  I’m a little surprised it all fit into their new apartment.  Clearly, they will be doing some crap culling over the next few weeks.

Anyway, it took the four of us three hours of hauling boxes of books, furniture and stuff.  It then took another few hours for Mrs. C to assemble shelves and storage systems that were new in the box.  I served as Mrs. C’s gofer and resident screwer and hammerer.

I won’t even go into the fiasco of trying to return the big truck.  Suffice to say it was not without incident, and when we finally dropped it off it was like taking a boulder off my chest.

Anyway, the kids are moved into a lovely apartment in a very pretty section of our country.  I expect they will be very happy as their previous situation was not particularly pleasant.

I did learn that if I choose to come out of retirement, truck driving is out of the question.  Manual labor is out of the question. Actually, standing for over three hours is out of the question.

Do Wal-Mart greeters get to sit down while they wave to customers?

This adventure is over now, and I plan on a hot bath followed by rolling around in a vat of “Hempvana“

before taking a long nap!

10 4 good buddies!


Saturday, June 10, 2023





What is it with products that are “Extra Strength”?

I have been using a product for arthritis, HempVana.  Mrs. C tells me,

“There is a new “EXTRA STRENGTH” HempVana out, do you want to try it?”

“No, I’ll just stick with regular strength, I’m in no hurry to cure my painful joints.  I can suffer a little longer…OF COURSE get the EXTRA STRENGTH!”

Why do companies sell anything but EXTRA STRENGTH?  There should be no regular strength and one EXTRA STRENGTH.  It makes no sense.

I guess people just like the idea of stepping it up a notch.

EXTRA STRENGTH Aspirin or regular” …” hmm, I don’t want to hurt my headache, let me just go with the regular,” said on one ever!

Same thing with appliances.  We have a blender with seven speeds.  For what? 

The old blender my mom used had one speed…FAST.  I don’t recall ever thinking, “Damn, I wish I could mix my milkshake up a little slower!” 

Granted with our seven-speed mixer I use all speeds, but I always end up on HIGH.  I’ve got seven speeds, I am damn well going to use them all, but eventually I plan to mix the crap out of what ever is in my blender!

Why does my electric razor have three speeds?  Like if I’m not in a hurry to go somewhere I’ll just shave on low? Makes zero sense.

When Mrs. C dries her hair, she always uses the high heat.  Even if she is not in a hurry, she uses high heat.  Does anyone dry their hair on LOW?

“I might be a while, I’m drying my hair on LOW.”


“Because if you dry your hair too fast it might…your right, let me kick it up a notch, I’ll be done in a minute.”

Even my electric toothbrush has multiple speeds.  WHY? Does high speed wear your teeth down faster?  I don’t know about you, but I brush on HIGH…I’m a dare devil.

When I had to mow my lawn, my electric lawn mower only had one speed. 

I’ve never heard of a chain saw having multiple speeds. 

Why do we want a choice on personal products, but when it comes to yard work, we just want to cut the crap out of stuff?

Do they sell varmint poisons in various strengths? I mean maybe there are some people who don’t want to kill off mice and rats too quickly.  If you buy regular strength rat poison does that make you a sensitive person, or does it make you a sadist?

Why have I waited six weeks to post anything and then wasted your time with this drivel?

Maybe I’m trying to develop an EXTRA STRENGTH Blog.

BTW, this post can be read slowly, regular or extra fast…your decision.


Tuesday, April 25, 2023




There, I used the word HATE, so GOOGLE will probably not allow anyone to read this dangerous post, but Mrs. C is in Greece with her sister and a friend for “Girl’s week out” and I have no one else to rant to.

That she is in Greece is why I have an issue with WELLS FARGO BANK. 

This is the bank that has been in trouble for opening bull shit accounts to meet quotas or some such shenanigans. 

This is the bank that once made me give them a thumb print in order to deposit money into my own account (I still don’t understand or remember the reasoning).

This is the bank that charged me $2 every time I took cash out of a non- WELLS FARGO ATM.  I was not advised of this charge, and my statement had so many little $1 cash adjustments from my checking account to my savings account (Also don’t know why; some method to boost savings or something) that I overlooked the $2 charges for over a year.

So today I go to the bank to deposit money for our monthly expenses.  We do this every month.  I write a check from my account at another bank and Mrs. C deposits it into her account to pay bills.

Why don’t we just have a joint account?  No reason, we just don’t.

Anyway as Mrs. C is in Greece this month it was my job to make the deposit.  She had the check written plus some cash and a deposit slip all made out and clipped together.

“I know you hate this bank, but all you have to do is hand them the slip, the check and the cash.”


I go to the bank, and slide the check, cash, and slip to the cashier.  For some reason with this bank, I always feel like I am doing something illegal. 

They did not disappoint.

“Is this a joint account?”

“No, it is my wife’s account with a different name; she kept her last name just in case this marriage thing does not work out.”

“Well, we can’t accept this.”

“Ah, I am putting money in, not talking out.  If the check bounces you will just adjust her account, we can’t use the money until the check clears.”

“Oh, the check from another bank is not the problem, we can’t take the cash.”


“We can’t take the cash unless you have a joint account.”


“We can’t take the cash unless you have a joint account.”

“Um, you know that is incredibly stupid, don’t you?”

“Yes, we do, this is WELLS FARGO, we are incredibly stupid…your lucky we don’t ask for a thumb print.”

“So, can I deposit the cash in my WELLS FARGO account and write another check?”


“Buy I don’t have a check with me.”

“We can make out a cashier’s check for you.”

“You know this is really stupid, don’t you?”

“Yes, this is WELLS FARGO BANK.”

After only 30 minutes the transaction was completed.  The cashier was very helpful.  It was not her fault that she works for WELLS FARGO BANK.






Wednesday, April 5, 2023





It has been a few months since my last post.  I used to post almost every day.  Every day for 13 years, almost 4000 posts.  Now some of my posts may have been political, clearly a forbitten subject today, especially if you favored the wrong politic.  Many of my early posts contained “bad” words.  I assume, that by virtue of having an opinion I offended some folks, but never did I receive an admonition from GOOGLE.

Until today.  Today, after not posting for three months I received a GOOGLE wrist slap.


I was sent an email which advised the following:

Your post titled "HEADLINES 123111" has been put behind a warning for readers

Your post titled "HEADLINES 123111" was flagged to us for review. This post was put behind a warning for readers because it contains sensitive content; the post is visible at Your blog readers must acknowledge the warning before being able to read the post/blog.

GOOGLE has suddenly decided readers must be warned about one of my posts submitted 12 years ago.

I used to submit weekly a “Stupid Headlines” post.  I would scour the news for strangely worded headlines and then add a clever comment to the headline.  These “Stupid Headlines” posts were never all that well received, but they used to crack me up even if no one else seemed to find them humorous.

Anyway, what could I have said the it took GOOGLE 12 years to find that it was objectionable and needed a warning?

Apparently GOOGLE must have recently run all their blogs from the beginning of the world through a program with some kind of algorithms that catch offensive material.   I guess that is part of the AI (Artificial Intelligence) issue that is in the news and has smart people worried.

Of course I had to go back in time and read this GOOGLE warned post to see what I wrote that was so scary.

There was this:

Same-sex families pay thousands of dollars more in taxes- Gay community asserts the higher taxes are worth it to not have to live with the opposite sex.

It does mention sex, but is that offensive?  Do you need to be warned before reading? Maybe “WARNING, ONLY CRANKY OLD MEN WILL FIND THIS TO BE FUNNY”.  Anyway, this could not be it.

Maybe it was:

Man Dials 911, Lodges Complaint About Hookers – Claims he wasn’t screwed.

It does mention hookers and screwed, but…really?

Maybe it was this one:

Obesity linked to older adults' risk of falls- Researchers also find a link between obesity and overeating, obesity and stains on ties, obesity and large pant size and obesity and flatulence.

Can you no longer even mention fat people? IS that fat shaming? Can’t be, could it?

How about this one:

Egyptian Court Bans Military 'Virginity Tests' on Female Detainees – Egyptian Military no longer able to ask female detainees, “Do you know what a virgin is?”

Is “virgin” wrong? Is this demeaning to woman? I thought it was funny.

Then Mrs. C found the headline that proves that artificial intelligence can be dangerous:

Porn Film Condom Proposal Qualifies for Los Angeles Ballot, But City Objects – Four out of five doctors claim that condoms on porn films will have little effect in preventing venereal diseases, but may prevent little baby porn films.

I thought it was funny.  Instead of the actors required to use condoms I read it as putting condoms on the actual film which would prevent little baby porn films.

Once again, I thought this was funny.  Apparently, I was the only one that thought this headline play on words was funny, but clearly not offensive or perverted…until

Mrs. C figured,

“Perhaps just the term ‘little baby porn films’ was interpreted as BABY porn, not little baby films prevented by putting condoms on the actual film. (Stupid, but harmless…and yes once again I thought it was funny.)

So, there you have it. GOOGLE is out to save you from A Cranky Old Man’s very bad sense of humor.

You have been warned.

I assume I will receive another email based on the content of this post.