Thursday, October 8, 2015


I'm ready to change my diet.  This idea came about after we applied for a home equity loan at our local bank. 

It didn't take us long to realize we were up  against a slow moving  uncaring apparatus that think of us as 15-9-343H-blah blah dash blah blah blah.
Dealing with a bank sometimes starts to get very overwhelming and frustrating.

I asked a friend how to deal with this situation.

His advice was:  "Think of this seemingly overwhelming situation as the proverbial 'how do you eat an elephant?' One bite at a time."
I took his advice.  I bought an elephant.

How long can a person eat elephant steaks, elephant stew, elephant dumplings, elephant sausage, belephant testicles, sautéed elephant liver, pickled elephant tongue, elephant creole, elephant tacos, elephant foo hung, elephant teriyaki, Chicago style elephant pizza, elephant tripe, Irish style elephant w/baked potato, barbecued elephant, baked elephant, boiled elephant, and elephant chili?

I'm done.
Not with the elephant, just with eating it.
The stinking carcass lies rotting on my front lawn.
The neighbors are complaining.  They are getting a little cranky.
The HOA president asks me when I will be moving the wooly mammoth off our lawn.
I told him that it would be soon. Maybe. This approach seemed to work for the bank.
He tried to nail me down to a specific date.
" want a closing date? That will be soon after our bank gives us the money for elephant carcass cleanup and for our new condo."
Oddly the neighbors started calling our bank and tried to help us expedite the removal of the dead beast.
We have nice neighbors.
 But sometimes you have to put up a stink to get some attention.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

creative solutions for geezers

Modern Times

Everybody wants to be creative. Even coots, geezers, curmudgeons and cranky senior citizens. I must fit into one of those categories. perhaps all of them.

We must not look at this as an affliction where you are to be shunned. It should be looked at as an opportunity to exact revenge on these obtuse young whippersnappers with their iPhones, snotty clerks and other types of customer service representatives and others who are clueless about such things as manners.

Oh.....manners? That was a arcane ritual that ceased towards the end of the twentieth century. Perhaps someone could text you on it.
There are books on the subject. No, No!! Don't look in the fiction section. It really existed and some remote corners of the globe it still does. Anthropologist and Sociologist are studying it. Some wizened old scholars actually remember it. Some people, mostly women, sit at their knee of these learned but strange academics and giggle at the folly of the past while texting somebody with their smart phone.

Did you know that people in the past were creative?  They actually thought up a lot of these things you are using today.  It would sure would have been nifty if Alexander Graham Bell could have googled "Telephone". This makes me realize that if Isaac Newton had sat under a coconut tree instead of an apple tree he would have died without discovering gravity and we would all be floating around. (Hey…I never said I was very smart!)

I actually had a young lady actually smile at me while she was texting. She was my waitress (oops…waitstaff) at the local seafood restaurant.

I see a future world with humanoid type creatures walking around with their heads down bumping into other humanoid doing the same. I predict male humanoids will take pictures of sperm, cut and paste to a female's cellphone and she will attempt to fertilize a picture of her egg.  Your next child could be printed out on a 3D printer.
Your child's name could be Hewlett, Canon, Epson or Brother, which could be a tad awkward if you are a girl.

This is your future.

To all Americans

To all Americans

Seriously…Donald Trump?  This is a joke.  right?  
Ha ha…funny.  a real side splitter. You Americans. funny.

Is the rest of the world in on the joke?  Putin just soiled himself.

A joke……right?


Monday, July 20, 2015

Donald Trump, landscape expert or John McCain, malingering non-hero.

How Dare You?

It has come to my attention that a few Americans are making sport of Donald Trump's military career.  I will have you know that Donald had the coveted and very important landscaper's exemption.  His draft board deemed it necessary for him to serve as a civilian in Cincinnati, Ohio while John McCain was sitting around doing nothing in the tropics.

According to Wikipedia: The Swifton Village project:The Trumps became involved in the project and with a $500,000 investment, turned the 1,200-unit complex with a 66 percent vacancy rate to 100 percent occupancy within two years. In 1972, the Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million. Donald's involvement with the project was to perform some landscaping and menial labour.

However, Donald assured me that the landscaping was probably the best in North America with golf course quality grass with soil imported from the Amazon delta of Brazil. Orchids, magnolias, and roses were imported from California using seeds donated by Luther Burbank.

We will go to  Swifton Village  today and it will be sweet vindication for Donald.
Ummm, on second thought…….

Meanwhile, John McCain was in the Tropics cavorting with the natives and staying at one of the Hiltons at government's expense.

McCain's career while Thw Donald landscaping.
McCain's capture and subsequent imprisonment began on October 26, 1967. He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi.  McCain fractured both arms and a leg ejecting from the aircraft and nearly drowned when he parachuted into Trúc Bạch Lake. Some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him. McCain was then transported to Hanoi's main Hỏa Lò Prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton" (told you).
Although McCain was badly wounded, his captors refused to treat his injuries, beating and interrogating him to get information; he was given medical care only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a top admiral. His status as a prisoner of war (POW) made the front pages of major newspapers.
McCain spent six weeks in the hospital while receiving marginal care.  By then having lost 50 pounds (23 kg), in a chest cast, and with his gray hair turned white as snow,  McCain was sent to a different camp on the outskirts of Hanoi in December 1967, into a cell with two other Americans who did not expect him to live a week. In March 1968, McCain was put into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years. 
In the picture below he can be seen swimming with the locals.
Hey guys, take it easy.  Are you trying to drown me? Uh, ya, you just bombed my house.
In mid-1968, John S. McCain Jr. was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater, and the North Vietnamese offered McCain early release because they wanted to appear merciful for propaganda purpose  and also to show other POWs that elite prisoners were willing to be treated preferentially.  McCain turned down the offer; he would only accept repatriation if every man taken in before him was released as well. Such early release was prohibited by the POW's interpretation of the military Code of Conduct: To prevent the enemy from using prisoners for propaganda, officers were to agree to be released in the order in which they were captured.
In August 1968, a program of severe torture began on McCain.  He was subjected to rope bindings and repeated beatings every two hours, at the same time as he was suffering from dysentery. Further injuries led to the beginning of a suicide attempt, stopped by guards.  Eventually, McCain made an anti-American propaganda "confession". He has always felt that his statement was dishonorable, but as he later wrote, "I had learned what we all learned over there: Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine." Many American POWs were tortured and maltreated in order to extract "confessions" and propaganda statements; virtually all of them eventually yielded something to their captors. McCain subsequently received two to three beatings weekly because of his continued refusal to sign additional statements.
McCain refused to meet with various anti-war groups seeking peace in Hanoi, wanting to give neither them nor the North Vietnamese a propaganda victory.  From late 1969 onward, treatment of McCain and many of the other POWs became more tolerable, while McCain continued actively to resist the camp authorities. McCain and other prisoners cheered the U.S. "Christmas Bombing" campaign" of December 1972, viewing it as a forceful measure to push North Vietnam to terms.
Altogether, McCain was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years. He was released on March 14, 1973.  His wartime injuries left him permanently incapable of raising his arms above his head.
So quit your whining, McCain (or as they said at your Hilton home. "The beatings will continue until morale improves.").

Donald, I just love your idea of building a fence across the mexican border.  
You said let the Mexican build it. That will work since much of the manual labor is done by Spanish people in my neighborhood.  They are probably from Mexico, working for minimum wage, without  health care or any other kind of benefits.
You can supervise this project since you have experience in landscaping.  There will be landscaping involved and I have noticed that my landscaper speaks Spanish.

So…in conclusion. What is more important? Beautifying Cincinnati or spending time in a tropical paradise swimming and cavorting with the natives?  Only Cincinnati knows for sure.
I do believe I have straighten out this matter.  
It is what it is.  
Does anyone know what that means?

Monday, June 15, 2015

A lifetime warranty

And other life myths

Billy was the only one that liked to drink sewer water.
Sometimes you realize late in life that the adage "if it seems too good to be true, it usually is."
I take another sip of my "Billy Beer",  I burp…or was that a little vomit?…and say to myself, "So true, so true."

Yes, I traded my classic 1952 bullet nose Studebaker for a lifetime supply of Billy Beer to the Reingold beer distributor in my area. The car was in a parade last week.  It was for sale for $24,000.
The distributor did not lie even though I have 15 bottles left out of a case of 24, I consider it a lifetime supply.
I have tried to get my friends to drink some.  I have lost friends.   I put a few bottles on skid row for the derelicts to sip upon.  I found it untouched on my porch the next day.  I can't even bring it back to the beer dealer.  Reingold went out of business many years ago (1976), the same year I purchased the Betamax video taping system for $1800.  This can't miss.  It's a Sony product.  Sony!!!!  I also received a lifetime supply movie card which gave me access to movies for $2 instead of $2.99. The card cost me $99 (good for a lifetime).  I used it once.  The store went out of business in 93 days.   My 99 cents savings cost me $99.

When things like this happen you develop a thick skin.  Sadly, my skin became so thick I had to see a dermatologist.
The doctor took one look at my skin and said, "Yikes…this is bad."
"I know." I sighed.
"8 track car stereo?" He queried.
"No, Betamax with lifetime movie club guarantee." I whispered shamefully.
"Ouch! Why did you wait so long?"
"There's more." A tear trickled down my cheek.
"More?  You're joking! This is as bad as it gets…already.  Don't tell me there is more."
I bowed my head and muttered, "I traded my 1952 Studebaker classic for a case of Billy Beer."
The doctor fell to his knees and started laughing or crying hysterically and he kept muttering, "OH MY GOD" numerous times.
Finally I asked if he was laughing or crying.  He said, "I Don't know.  I owned that car last year and I sold it for $12,000.  It was a wonderful car but the ashtray was full".
"Then you're probably crying because he is selling it  for $24,000."
"$24,000?…$24,000 american dollars? "  I watched as his skin became blotchy, big red welts began to appear.  He started scratching his arms, then his legs.  I could see he was fighting the urge to scratch his crotch.  His face began to twitch and he had a fit of cough.

Perhaps I should call a nurse.  What a turn of events.
"Nurse, please bring me 2 Benadryl, some Cortisone lotion, and Viagra; the doctor is having a hives stress reaction." I hollered into the intercom on his desk.
"Huh?…I get the cortisone, and Benadyrl.  What's with the Viagra?"
"Oh! That's for me. This is the best I felt since the brewery closed down in 1976."


My thick skin started to thin out a bit. I realized that thick skin in my case was used figuratively and not literally.  Sadly for my Dermatologist this was not the case.  The blotches never left him and he has to wear gloves all the time.  This has affected his business greatly but on the up side he has stopped smoking.

Ah, who knows.  Maybe Betamax will make a comeback.  Until then I believe I will sit here and sip on my Billy Beer.  Ewwwww!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

My little paradise

I am basking in the late afternoon sun on the patio. The little French lady sits in her fake rattan swing playing qwirkle. The shadows grow long. A cardinal sings happily nearby.
We love our little paradise. We have tried to make our patio a fake rattan paradise. It works for us. The squirrels don't find the taste of fake rattan appetizing.  They tried to eat our fake rattan glider.  I am guessing it was not very tasty.  We still have most of it.  They seem to like the mid range fake rattan as oppose to the dark, light or white rattan?

I hate to think of our patio furniture as squirrel food, but it is what it is. I find myself going to outdoor furniture stores and tasting the furniture and asking myself "is this a taste a squirrel would like?"
A good rule of thumb is: if the tree has nuts the squirrel will eat the wood from that tree.
Ah... Nature!  A lizard just slithered by for the twentieth time today. I think it is a gecko.
He isn't eating the furniture or selling car insurance.  He's become a regular visitor since we went to Petsmart and got a fifty pound bag of lizard chow.

Yesterday afternoon a pair of Carolina Wrens started building a nest on our patio.  They are cute and bold little birds.They were flying by us every five minutes with something in their mouth.
Today they seem to have lost interest. Me too. They are building their nest on my gloves, which are inside a box of leaf bags.  Now there is bird poop all over the place.

Last week our cat started making a fuss near the sliding glass door to the patio.  We thought she probably saw a palmetto bug. (More on them later)  I turned on the patio light and a full grown possum was staring at me.

 Oh, he was a handsome fellow with his pointy snout, showing a fine set of teeth and a malevolent look in his beady little eyes.  I slid the door shut, turned off the light and sent a memo to myself. No sleeping on the patio.
 It is a lovely patio.  I wish I were brave enough to go there at night.
Our cat, Madison, won't look at the patio after dark.

Yes, nature is a wonderful thing.
I look above me and I see a red bellied woodpecker pecking at our tree. They are so beautiful and majestic!
Hmmm...I thought they only pecked at dead trees. That's my tree. He's killing it.
"Hey, get away from my tree you deranged coot."
I will throw a couple of rocks to scare him off.
Oops! I hope they are not an endangered species. I guess life has its own pecking
Now back to the palmetto bugs.  They are actually roaches and they are big enough to put a saddle up and ride. I exaggerate but they are big.  The good thing is they like it outside. Inside, not so much.
If they make it inside they usually belly up pretty fast.  We haven't had too many roach funerals in our house. We insist on some type of service. I insist on a Hindu funeral pyre and burial at sea.  My wife wants the Christian ceremony where the woman screams and insist that it be flushed down the toilet and I am usually the only pallbearer.  I am not sure why we go through all this trouble.  I am pretty sure they are atheist or possibly baptist.
Ouch!  I think a squirrel just threw something at me
Uh..huh, yes. It is the same rock I threw at the woodpecker.
We have tough squirrels in this neighborhood.  I have tried to electrocute them, drown them, spiked some food with capsaicin, ambien, mentos and Pepsi, mentos and vinegar, baking soda and Pepsi, espresso and Viagra (don't use this combo.  It's expensive and the squirrels are active all night.)
I have put a lifelike  replica of a hawk on my patio in hopes that it would scare the squirrels away.
They ate it.
A neighbor had trapped three squirrels and he drove them to a park in Charlotte, North Carolina and released them and drove home.  He stopped at Wendy's on the way home to have a celebratory meal. Two days later,  three squirrels were looking in his bedroom window at 7 am in the morning.  Chattering and taunting. Chattering and taunting.  Showing their butts and eating French fries.
He swears this is true.

 Hmmm! The cardinal is still singing away in my little paradise.  He's been doing that for an hour.
He must be happy too.

I will just sit here and take in the beauty of the day while I finish off my beer.
Mmmmm...good beer! What's that? A leaf in my beer? No! Leaves don't have legs. That is an inebriated and surly caterpillar doing the backstroke.  I wonder how long he has been floating in my beer? I can't use the five second rule.  I don't know how long he has been there.  My options are limited. I can take the caterpillar out of my beer and reduce the options.
I will leave it out and let the squirrels finish it. Solved.
The cardinal is still chirping away. Don't they ever shut up. He must be happy. Maybe I will throw another rock and he will fly away.
Hmmm... Thirty other birds flew away but the cardinal still sings.
"Shut up." Still singing.
Much louder: "Shut up you yellow bellied, Sap sucking,worm eating coot."
No reaction.
Now screaming: "silence, you worthless piece of feathered crap ball.  Who to hell do you think you are? Kanye west? shut to xxxx up."
Now there is a reaction.
My neighbor is calling 911.  I told him not to worry,  I can handle this bird.  He said it wasn't for the bird. It was for me.

Hmmm, another misunderstanding, I will have to straighten out in the PD drunk tank or at the mental health unit.

It is what it is.  Does anyone know what to hell that means?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I have met the enemy and he is me!!

A reality check


In the year 2008 I was a heavy user of Dunkin Donuts and their tasty coffee.  A regular customer.  
The fact that they gave a senior citizen discount for people over 55 was a nice bonus and since I was in my mid 60's I was eligible.

One day I walked in and asked for my usual  coffee with a maple glazed and a Boston Creme with my senior citizen discount.

Apparently the Donutarista was in a bad mood.  She proofed me.  She had me take out my driver's license and show her that I was 66 years old.  I guessed  I must have looked young enough to be in my early 40's…or she was being a total a**hole. 
I prefer to believe that I had  the appearance of a much younger man, although I have never been into any Dunkin Donut since that day.

Consequently I have lived my life like the nearly 50 year old man that Dunkin Donut has assumed me to be.
They must really believe that.  I sent a picture of myself to DD Corporate and demanded an apology.
I never heard from them.

I am guessing that they reviewed my picture and agreed that DD Myrtle Beach assumption was "spot on" and I was trying to pull a fast one.  I am really much younger looking despite my neck's turkey like appearance,  my massive growth of nose and ear hair,  my hunched over waddle, my Andy Rooney eyebrows,  my eyes that don't have crow's feet, they have ostrich feet.
I have a few other dings like cataracts, glaucoma, macular  degeneration, light sensitivity, bad hearing in my left ear, faulty fitting dentures, a cavity in the only real tooth I have, gum disease, impending baldness, and this is just my head which I think is doing great (except for the memory loss and the distorted sense of self).


The little French Lady (LFL) and I went shopping at Walmart a few days ago.  We parked as close to the door as possible.  We cursed, honked at, made obscene gestures at the cart abandoners, tailgaters, jaywalkers and other miscreants in the parking lot.  We glared at people walking out the "IN" door.

We walked to the restrooms and I said to LFL. "I'll meet you back here in 5 minutes."  This is our regular practice since Walmart is quite a distance from our house (nearly 3 miles) and my bladder was in pre-burst mode.

Fifteen minutes later LFL came out of the restroom.
"What took so long?" I queried cautiously.
"Oh, the attendant was cleaning the urinals."
"Their are no urinals in the ladies restroom but it does explain why I saw a tampon dispenser  and no urinals in the men's room. Ah, well…let's shop."

I found my usual shopping cart. The one with the nail in the wheel.  I used to hate it but it turned out to be a good thing.  The little French lady always knew my location by the "thump..thump".

"Let's not stay here too long today.  The fluorescent light bothers my eyes and I have trouble driving these carts.  I nearly got in two fist fights for ramming people with my cart.  I never seen women get so nasty in my life. One had quite an expansive vocabulary.  I learned a few new words."

We decided to go different directions.  The wife would do womanly things like buy food and dresses.  The husband would do manly stuff like walk around aimlessly, ask the pharmacist when the viagra was going to be on sale,  look at the laxative selection and hang around the women's changing room.  We would meet by the bathroom (of course) in 30 minutes. 

As I was walking up one of the aisles, I glanced to my right and saw a pathetic beaten old man looking at me. I nodded at him.  I believe he nodded at me but I kept walking.  I thought to myself; what a piteous creature he was.

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!…That was me.  I was looking into a mirror.  
My knees almost buckled.
What happened to the young 40 something stud that got proofed at Dunkin Donuts just 7 years ago?
A metamorphosis has transpired.  I went from 47 to 74 in 7 years and I still wasn't old enough to get a Dunkin Donuts according to my calculations.
I think I will go get one of those carts that the overweight smokers drive around Walmart.  I need to sit down.  I am old.  I can be cranky all the time now.
Hah! I will make Andy Rooney seem like mother Theresa.  I can start now.
Do you know what really annoys me?  The lady talking on her cell phone in the checkout line.  Totally ignoring the clerk.  
As we leave I say to the LFL, "Don't you just hate it when people come in the "out" door. Hmmm! Don't you just hate it when the cars don't even stop for the pedestrians in front of Walmart?" 
As we pull out of our parking space " It really burns my buns when the pedestrians don't even look both ways when they walk across the area in front of  the store." (even though they have the right of way)

"Wow! look at all the cars parked in the fire lane.  Don't you just hate that?  Where's the cops when you need them? At Dunkin Donuts, that's where!!!"
Ah! Andy Rooney lives on.

The little French lady pulled out onto the highway.  She looked in the mirror and hollered, "Get off my Ass, you jerk.  Don't you hate that?"

A shiver descended down my spine.  She sounded like me!!  My trophy wife is now an old person.  
We drove home cursing relentlessly at the numerous traffic infractions occurring before our eyes. I shook my fist at people who dared make eye contact with me.  I stuck my tongue out at children in cars.      I wanted to moon a busload of nuns but the little French lady stopped me.  She didn't want to see nun road rage.

We arrived home and grabbed our groceries from and started walking towards our front door.  Our neighbor, Tabitha said, "Hi Folks, How you doing?"  I answered, "Doesn't your dog ever stop barking or pooping?" Her mouth fell agape.  She finally whimpered, "I only have a deaf 14 year old cat."
My reply:"What…ever!!"

I went into the house, ran to the bathroom, took a deep breath and then smiled.  "I believe I just had a verbal orgasm.  Free at last, Free at last, thank God,  I'm free at last.  Thank you, Martin Luther King."

Meanwhile, outside the little French lady is trying to explain to Tabitha.  
"Well, he walked by a mirror and saw his image and realized who and what he was.  Something in him snapped.  He is now a coot, a cranky dude, a curmudgeon, a grump, a reincarnation of Andy Rooney.  He has been through the stages of grief at losing his youth.  He went to acceptance pretty quickly."

"Oh, Oh! I understand. The poor guy.  I will pray for him to find peace and happiness."
"Thanks, Tabitha. And try to keep your smelly mutt quiet from now on.  See Ya!"

Life is good when you have a plan.
Grumpy is the new happy.