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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.