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Wednesday, January 24, 2024





I just finished talking to my son about children.  He has two heading smack dab into teenage years.  Parenting is not easy, but being a parent to a teenager is brutal.

Newborns are tough, you get little sleep and you worry about every hiccup burp and poop.  But you love them like you never thought you could love and they love right back as without you they cannot exist.

Toddlers are the best, they keep you on your toes, but nothing is as cute as a toddler.  Even puppies are not as cute as a toddler, though this age is very similar to the puppy stage.

From toddler to a growing school age child, their growth both physical and mental is astounding and pure joy to watch. 

Pre-teen is still about the same except they may actually start to question your rules and reasons.

Then there are teenagers. UGH!!!

Horrible years. 

Horrible for the teen as they go through so many changes in size, ideas, and HORMONES. 

They are confused and they question everything. 

As teenagers they realize that parents are not always right, and this realization has them questioning a parent’s EVERY belief and rule.  These are very difficult years for the teenager.  I know I hated most of my teenage years.

Then again, the only thing more difficult than being a teenager, is having a teenager!

My son’s theory is that without these years, parents would never want to see their children grow up and leave, and children would never want to leave.

Your teen may yell at you, “I wish I had never been born” and you might just have the same thought. 

I mean you still love them, you still worry about them, but maybe you are ready to love and worry about them from a distance.

It is an age where they are upset because you worry so much and want to control them, but also get upset and think you just don’t care, if you don’t worry and don’t try to control them.

Neither child or parent can win the teen years, you just have to try and survive.

My son did raise an interesting point.  I’m not sure if he is correct or not, I don’t know the Bible well enough, but his point was,

“I don’t think the Bible has anything about Jesus as a teen.  He was born, he learned a trade as any obedient child of those times, and next thing, he was walking on water and curing lepers.  Nothing about his teen years. The Bible ignores his teen years. I think EVEN JESUS was horrible as a teen!”

Actually, looking back, my four teens were pretty good.  We did not fight too much and I enjoyed a lot about those years.  Sometime they try and tell me stories of antics I never knew about.  I stop them in their tracks. 

“As long as you survived, I don’t want to know about it!”

I’ll bet Jesus tipped a few cows, told a few lies, and skipped out of a few Hebrew classes.  Please just keep these stories out of the Bible.

 I don’t want to know about that either.

For more, see my manual for "Raising A Teenager"

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Mrs. C Gets a Snow Day


Mrs. C Gets a Snow Day


Mrs. C just found out her 7 am job has been cancelled due to snow.  She works part time at a local theater and a rare morning graduation event was postponed a week.

Mrs. C was practically giddy.  She has been nursing a cold and really did not feel like getting up early for work.  Of course, she could have called in sick, except she can’t…some sort of stupid work ethic in her DNA.

Her excitement reminded me of school days when snow started to fall in the evening before a big assignment was due.  Could I postpone working on the assignment?  It had been handed out two weeks ago, so I still had time to start…well kind of…but with the snow I could procrastinate even more!

The wise move of course would be to start and finish the assignment. 

So, I closed my books and watched the snow almost blot out the street light.  No way we would have school, except our district was proud of how they could stay open when others closed…but this was a blizzard.

The next morning, I was up early to hear if school was cancelled.  The local show, “Rambling with Gambling” called out closings every fifteen minutes.

“Here are the closings, “Don Bosco Prep (always the first, I think the school was on a large hill) Rahway, East Orange, All New York City (Holy crap, NYC never closes this is a good sign) Newark, Piscataway, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Brunswick Hell all the Brunswick’s…on and on until finally WESTFIELD!!!

Back to bed, plenty of time to shovel, and plenty of time for that assignment.

I loved the snow, especially on school days.


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

I Can’t Sweep


I Can’t Sweep


Not a typo, apparently, I can’t sweep.

Jersey had it’s first snow in several years.  Almost two inches of white stuff which got the weather people excited and the Home Owners Association in full gear.  Streets were plowed as the first flakes were falling, and paths salted and resalted.

I have a feeling the crew hired by the HOA gets paid by the hour and they are starving for a Winter payday.

It is nice that all this stuff is taken care of, at least our stupid high monthly fee gets us something besides signs all over telling us what not to do, but do they have to shovel salt on our covered front entrance?

No snow gets passed our entrance roof.  There is no ice where there is no snow, but the salt does get tracked into and throughout the house.

Hence the salt must be swept away from this area.

Yesterday, before we were having dinner, I took it on myself to complete this chore.  When done I made sure to take credit from Mrs. C for taking charge.

“They salted the entrance again, but I swept it away.”

I was expecting an, “Oh, thanks, I hate it when the salt gets tracked inside.”

Instead, I got, “Did you use the outside broom?”


“Did you use the broom from the garage?”

“No! I used the broom from the closet.  I would have had to stomp in the cold 30 yards to the garage to get that broom, all to go swish, swish, done!”

“The inside broom is for inside only!”

“A broom is a frickin broom, there is no harm to your damn inside broom!”

“There is an inside broom for inside and an outside broom for the outside, don’t use the inside broom for outside!”

“Go check your inside broom, if you can show me any issue with me using it outside, I’ll buy another G-Damn broom!”

“That’s not the point.”

Taking a different tack, “When was the last time you used the inside broom, as we have the electric sweeper thing?”

“I don’t know.”


“Maybe two years.”

“I rest my case.”

“You have no case, just use the right broom in the right place.”

“I get the scissor thing, one for outside, one for kitchen and one just for paper…well I don’t really get it, but I can deal with it, but this broom thing is beyond me.”

“Just don’t use the inside broom on the outside.”

“Fine, can we just eat now?”


“Which are the inside knives and forks?”

“You’re a jerk!”


PB (post blog) We are expecting snow again in two days, HOA salted the front again.  This time I’ll use the outside broom.


Thursday, January 11, 2024

I AM Outraged!


I AM Outraged!

Well, not really outraged, just curious.

Last week I submitted a post about phones and received a curious comment.

AnonymousJanuary 10, 2024 at 8:22 AM

Oh my god I saw your blog on how to feel young in my English book. I got three questions for homework because of you, this is so sadge 😔😔😔





My first thought was WTF? Why was my post “How To Feel Young” in an English book.  I don’t even think it was a particularly good post. I asked:



joehJanuary 10, 2024 at 12:49 PM

??English book? What book?


I received this reply


AnonymousJanuary 11, 2024 at 8:34 AM

Fire and ice 2, it’s a school English book, they used one of your blogs for a comprehension




Now I had to wonder,

First - Don’t they have to get an OK from me to use my stuff?


Second - Did they use my post to inspire young minds, or as an example of how not to write.


Third - Am I entitled to royalties?


I Googled this book. 

The only copy I could find was on Amazon, used for $74.15.


That pretty much rules out royalties, and for $74.15 I don’t need to know if it was used to inspire young minds, or as an example of how not to write.


Now my only question is what the hell does SADGE mean.  I looked it up and I still don’t know.


Somehow a post on How To Feel Young, has made me feel really old!


Saturday, January 6, 2024





The other day I was half way to the grocery store to pick up three or four items when I realized I had forgotten my cell phone.


What if I got lost?  What if I ran out of gas? What if I needed to ask Mrs. C a question? What if…?

I mean the store was 15 minutes away.  I only needed about 5 minutes to get my items and head home.  I knew my way to the store.  I had a full tank of gas.  There was nothing I needed to ask Mrs. C.  Why did I need my phone?

Still, I came back to the house and retrieved my phone.

Silly right. 

I thought so too, and yet I had to have that phone.

Made me think of the old days and phones.

Our family phone was upstairs outside Mom and Dad’s bedroom. 

Today when your phone rings, you check to see who it is and if you want to take the call.  If you let it go 4 rings the person can leave a message if they want.

Back in the day if the phone wrang it was assumed to be important and you always picked it up…well, someone always eventually picked it up.











If you did not answer, it would just keep Bringing. 

On the other side would be:


“Where are they?”


“I know they must be home.”


“Come on, come on answer.”


“I hope nothing is wrong.”


“Maybe I should call the police.”


“Where have you been?”

If you failed to answer the phone after the customary wait of 25 Brings you’d better be prepared for an excuse when you next ran into the caller!

If the call was from long distance, like another town you had to talk fast…time was money.

If the call was from your Aunt cross the country you had to talk really loud.  Well, you didn’t have to, but you just did.

If the call was from your brother’s girlfriend you knew:



That was the clue.  Somehow you just knew if the call was from a girl.

Always followed by Dad:


Pop was always expecting a call, but he never answered the phone, that was for the kids.

When cell phones first came out, this was something I don’t miss hearing when I was on my daily train commute:


The ensuing conversation, also overly loud, was 15 minutes about how cool it was to be calling from the train.

Anyway, phones and phone etiquette has surely changed and I can just not go anywhere without my phone, which is also my camera, and my access to news, and watching sports, and an encyclopedia, and has proof of my driver’s license, car registration, vaccine doses, passport, and all the codes I need to get in my house, open the garage door and access my bank account.

It no longer goes Bring.  It plays a different song depending on who is calling.

I kind of miss the old phone, but there is a lot less yelling!