Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Couple of Sams, a Ben, and Me.

Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody...

(Well that's not entirely true; I have Roxy, my disobedient dog. I can't think of a way to apply that to this old Sam Cooke song.)

I got some money 'cause I just got paid...

(That's partly true; I did get an unemployment check this week.)

Oh how I wish I had some chick to talk to...

(Then I can host that new TV show: The Chick Whisperer.)

I'm in an awful way...

(At least I still got my health, as unhealthy as that may be.)


That concludes this evening's musical interlude. Now on with the show. Observe very closely; nothing up my sleeves, at no time does my fingers leave my hands. Pick a card, any card...

Okay, you got one? Make sure I can't see it. Now let me concentrate...

Mmmmm, I see that your card is one of four suits... And that suit is either black or red...

Ooh, this is harder than I thought. Put your card to your forehead and focus on the suit...

No. Not my tuxedo! The suit of your card!

Everyone be very quiet. Let me direct all my brain waves at your card... Ah, yes, the image is starting to become clear... It's getting clearer and clearer... Yes! I got it. Okay, now show me your card.

Yep, that's right. I predicted it correctly. Once again, I baffle the disbelievers.

Thank you for the applause. No, I can't tell you how I did it. Magician's secret.


So Ben Franklyn was sitting on a cold barroom floor rubbing his stomach when he came up with the idea for the pot bellied stove. The reason he was rubbing his stomach was because Samuel Adams had just punched him in the gut knocking him down. Franklyn had insulted Adams home brewed beer. Adams took great pride in his brewing. Everyone knew better than to insult Samuel Adams beer. Everyone, that is, except for Ben Franklyn. The truth of the matter was that Adams beer tasted like watered down hog swill. Nobody wanted to say anything about it to Samuel. The man was a brute and ready to fight at the slightest provocation. They should have warned Benjamin.

As Franklyn remained on the floor consumed with inventing the stove, Adams kicked him in the head, sending Ben's glasses flying. Paul Revere, standing next to the bar, looked away. He did not desire any involvement in the fracas. If he was challenged to brawl, Revere was the type of man who would run to others to get them to fight in his stead. Nonchalantly, Revere made his way out of the bar and disappeared into the night.

Franklyn crawled across the floor, feeling for his glasses. When he found them, he discovered that the lens had cracked horizontally. Ben thought about this. If he had different lenses, one for the top and one for the bottom, he could see far through the top and read through the bottom. Thus was born the idea for bi-focal glasses.

Samuel Adams kicked Benjamin Franklyn in the rear sending poor Ben's head into the bar rail. He was knocked out and would not resume consciousness for several hours. When he finally awoke, Ben worked out the details of the two ideas he had during the fight. And so we can thank Samuel Adams along with Ben Franklyn for the pot bellied stove and bi-focal glasses.

This ends our history lesson for today. Next time we will discuss how Ben came up with the notion to fly a kite in a thunderstorm. The end results are shocking.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Best Replacement

Here is a song by a 70 year old man who once was a Beatle and is now paying tribute to his hometown by singing his life story.

I entitled this post "Best Replacement." Seventeen points and a month's free use of a solar powered clothes drier for the first person to explain this title.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Astronomers v. Astrologers

I am no longer an Aquarius. I am now a Capricorn. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

I just read about the new zodiac sign in Time magazine, and the rearrangement of the others. At least I still have a known sign. People born between November 29 and December 17 have been relegated to being Ophiuchus. The reason behind reassignment of the signs is due to astronomer Parke Kunkle of the Minnesota Planetarium Society. Your zodiac sign is suppose to line up with constellations during the year. Take me for example. At one point in earth's history the sun would pass through the constellation of Aquarius between January 21st and February 21st. Today the sun passes through Aquarius from February 16th to March 11th. This is what Kunkle found out when he studied earth's current orbit around the sun:

From December 17th until January 20th the sun passes through Sagittarius.
From January 20th until February 16th the sun passes through Capricorn.
From February 16th until March 11th the sun passes through Aquarius.
From March 11th until April 18th the sun passes through Pisces.
From April 18th until May 13th the sun passes through Aries.
From May 13th until June 21st the sun passes through Taurus.
From June 21st until July 20th the sun passes through Gemini.
From July 20th until August 10th the sun passes through Cancer.
From August 10th until September 16th the sun passes through Leo.
From September 16th until October 30th the sun passes through Virgo.
From October 30th until November 23rd the sun passes through Libra.
From November 23rd until November 29th the sun passes through Scorpio.
From November 29th until December 17th the sun passes through Ophiuchus.

I have relayed this information as Time Magazine has given it. They do not explain the overlapping days. Perhaps those days are divided at twelve noon; If you were born at 11:30 am on September 16th you are a Leo. If you were born at 1:00 pm on September 16th then you are a Virgo. And so on.

I have given you the new chart so you can find your sign. If you are not happy with it, then do not complain to me. Contact Parke Kunkle, wherever he may be. He was last seen running from a mob of angry astrologers in Minnesota.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

With Apologies to Pete Seeger

Where have all the pay phones gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the pay phones gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the pay phones gone?
Returned to Ma Bell every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where the hell has Ma Bell gone?
Long time passing
Where the hell has Ma Bell gone?
Lone time ago
Where the hell has Ma Bell gone?
Broken up by government
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where is our government?
Long time passing
Where is our government?
Long time ago
Where is our government?
Being run by big business
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where has big business gone?
Long time passing
Where has big business gone?
Long time ago
Where has big business gone?
Overseas to Red China
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where has Red China gone?
Long time passing
Where has Red China gone?
Long time ago
Where has Red China gone?
Making products for everyone
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the products gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the products gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the products gone?
Sold at Wal-Marts every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the good jobs gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the good jobs gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the good jobs gone?
The way of the pay phone every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Repeat Performance

Don't you just hate when you get a bit of tune stuck in your head? Especially a tune that you are not particularly fond. For some unfathomable reason I have the opening to the song "I Wish I was in Dixie" repeating over and over. Just the way the General Lee car horn sounded in the Dukes of Hazard. I even find myself whistling it ever so often. Its an conscienceless act that I catch myself doing, but once I start whistling it, I am loathe to finish it. Even if I manage to stop in the middle, only a few seconds can pass before I am compelled to complete it. It may not be bad if I could do the entire tune, I do know it, but I am cursed to only repeat the opening few bars. How long will this torture last?

"I wish I was in the land of..." There, you try not to finish that line.


I've mentioned Linda before on this blog. We will have been living together for twenty years come March. Anyway, she is currently in Nebraska visiting with her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. I dropped her off at the airport on Monday. She'll be gone for a couple weeks. Linda had got a new cell phone last month. She called me Tuesday and says she can't find it. I tried dialing the number but it goes right to voice mail. It must be turned off. She asked me and expects me to look for it. It was lost somewhere between Detroit and Omaha. Wish me luck.


Well, I'm gonna leave you with one of Cary Grants favorite poems:

"They bought me a box of tin soldiers,
I threw all the Generals away,
I smashed up the Sergents and Majors,
Now I play with my Privates all day."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Solitude and Dreams

Linda left today. She went to visit her daughter in Omaha. I stayed behind because I am attending classes. For the next 16 days I can do what I want without fear of repercussion. I can drink milk right out of the carton. Leave the seat up on the toilet. I don't have to tippy toe around to keep from waking her up. I can put on whatever TV channel I want without compromise or consequence.

I just hope I remember to feed and water the dog. I'd never hear the end of it. Now that I mention it, I better let Roxy back in the house. She's been scratching at the door all afternoon. She's been out long enough to cover the next two weeks. I can check the "Done" box for that chore.

I heard the craziest thing yesterday. Scientists are breeding the DNA of spiders into goats. The milk you get from these spider-goats can be made into silk threads. This goat-silk is stronger material than steel or Kevlar. Yet is only one tenth as strong as pure spider silk. Looks like they're gonna have to amp up the spider DNA in the goats. Right now they look like regular goats, but I can imagine the future eight legged goats with pincers where its chin whiskers use to be.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's inauguration. Seven out of ten Americans were not alive when this happened. Isn't that fascinating? If you remember JFK taking the reins of the presidency, then you're on the short list. If I understand this fact right, then every seven years ten percent of the population is replaced.

Speaking of famous people. Today is MLK day. I did my part; I had a dream. I have dreams every night. I don't recall the majority of them. It seems that the only ones that stick in my mind are the bad ones. In one nightmare, I was walking down a dark tree lined street and some kind of creature was stalking me. Every time I turned around to face it, it would duck behind a tree. It wanted to jump or claw my back. If I kept turning around, it wouldn't attack. But I was getting dizzy from all the spinning and was ready to collapse. I never seen what the creature looked like, if was animal or demon I don't know. I was scared of the unknown. When I finally fell down in my dream, I had also fallen out of bed. I awoke with a cold sweat. I can remember this nightmare in detail. That was almost fifty years ago. Yet I can't recall what I dreamt last night. So it goes.

Did you ever have that dream where you're eating your pillow? And when you wake up, you find your giant marshmallow is gone.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Household Tips

I enjoy watching the DIY channel. I have mentioned this before. As I was watching today, a guy hurt his fingers with a hammer, and I thought of a helpful tip to avoid this happening.

I use to hold a nail with the fingers of my left hand and hammer with my right. The harder you hit the nail, the tighter it goes in. The more hits, the looser the nail goes in. So I would try to hit the head of the nail with all my might. If you ever felt the land quiver, that was me hammering. Anyway, on occasion I would miss the nail and wallop my fingers. One time is too many times; I did this too many too many times. Finally I figured a way to save my fingers. This works, I guarantee it. Before hammering, crazy glue the nail to the head of the hammer. You can slam that nail in as hard as you can without worry of personal injury. Of course, the bigger the project, the more hammers you will need.

Another tip I can relay is how to winterize your home for mere pennies. If you have a back yard, you can dig up a wheel barrow or two of dirt and add water. This will create a substance I call "John's Home-made Window Sealer." You must add enough water to the dirt to create a batter the consistency of peanut butter. Take this batter and amply apply it both inside and outside the edges of all your windows. You can also use this substance to seal doorways. Just be sure you do not need to use that door anytime soon.

One last tip. I use to be plagued by bills. I hated getting them. Electric, gas, water, mortgage... and so on. Well, I am trying something out right now that seems to be working. Last month I crazy glued my mail box shut. I haven't had a bill since. Crazy glue is really wonderful stuff.

I will keep sharing tips in future posts. Bye for now.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Wheel Deal

Did you ever notice in western movies how the wheels on stagecoaches rotate the opposite way the stage is heading? This has been going on for decades. I can understand this happening in the old 1930 and 1940 movies, even in the 50s and 60s. But once Star Wars took the quantum leap in special effects, there is no excuse to continue having stagecoach wheels turn backwards. Doesn't Hollywood care? With all the millions they spend making movies, you think they would put a little bit towards making the wheels turn the right way.

I am not the first to notice this. John Lennon sang, "I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round..." He was referring to wagon wheels in westerns. Just ask Yoko. She'll tell you.

Ike and Tina also sang about it: "Big wheels keep on turning..." backwards.

Blood, Sweat and Tears: "Spinning wheels got to go round..." the wrong way.

Grateful Dead: "The wheel is turning and you can't slow down..." to correct it.

Journey: "The wheel in the sky keeps on turning..." (This one is okay. It is not referring to a stagecoach.)

Anyway, its time for people to take a stand on this matter. Start writing your Congressmen to intercede and make Hollywood fix the wheels. If you live in Michigan, you can write John Dingell. (note to self: Find out if Congressman Dingell has anything to do with berries.)

I'm done ranting about stagecoach wheels. I must go now and research another topic. Bye.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Linda vs the Snow

I have to keep this post short. I still have to practice my spontaneity for my venture into public tomorrow. I am sitting here with a glass of coca-cola without the rum. Yes, as hard as it is to believe, coca-cola can be drank without rum! Don't feel bad if you don't know this, I just found out myself. I wonder if 7up would taste okay without the Seagram's? Nah, I'm talking silly now.

As I mentioned, tomorrow I will brave the snow and head out of my house to purchase supplies. I bet you can guess the main essential I'm lacking. That's correct; Bacardi Light. And since you brought it up, I may also pick up some Seagram's Seven. So I have a big day tomorrow. It's been snowing all day today, so I have to get up early to make sure Linda gets out there and shovels. I have to prod her. Sometimes she can be so lazy. I figure it to take her about an hour to shovel the drive and walk, another five minutes to brush off the car, and about ten more minutes for her to warm up the car for me. Let's see, you can't purchase refreshments until 7:30, so I better get her started around 6:00. It would be nice if I could sleep in until a few minutes before having to leave, but I have to set the clock for six just because of Linda. (note to self: place bucket of ice water on the nightstand to have ready for waking Linda.)

Linda can be grumpy in the morning. I don't know why. She has the sleep washed out of her eyes before being fully awakened. She should wake up refreshed. You should hear her complain. I'm always nice and helpful, I tell her where the snow shovel can be found, and remind her that I'll look for her gloves while she clears the five foot drifts from the driveway. And I do look. As soon as I hear her outside, I start looking for her gloves under the bed blankets. I do a thorough job. I will search under the covers until its time to go to the store.

Well, that's the plan for tomorrow. This is all I have for now.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gnu and Ewe

While Eliza busied herself trying to jump atop the gnu, the safari guide settled under a bush to sneak a nap. The guide, whose name is Chakta, was a native of the Republic of Congo. He was also the tallest pygmy of his tribe. He had learned English in England where he had attended Oxford on scholarship. After he had earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in general studies, he returned to the Congo and became a safari guide. Soloman's Safari Spectacular, for whom he worked, could care less about his degree. His ability to speak several languages was what got him the job. The pay was lousy. It was the tourist's gratuities that made up for the minimal salary.

Chakta looked over at Eliza one last time before beginning his nap. She was hanging sideways off the gnu. She had one leg over the animals back while she hugged the gnu's neck. She lost her grip and fell on her rump. She got up immediately and lunged hands first across the beast. She laid there momentarily before attempting to swing a leg around to sit atop the animal. As soon as she moved, so did the gnu, and she was once again thrown to the ground. Chakta smiled to himself at her inability to mount the beast. He shut his eyes and fell right asleep.

Eliza's husband, Jimmy Pernell, approached her and offered his hand to help her back to her feet. "Don't you think," he said, "that it would be easier if you put a saddle on him?"

On her feet, Eliza brushed dirt off her bottom, and glared at Jimmy. "Do you have a gnu saddle?"

"Does it have to be new?" Jimmy jokes.

"Oh, aint you the clever one. You know what I mean."

Smiling, Jimmy starts to says, "No, I don't have one. We should have stopped in the Used Gnu Saddle Shop..."

" opposed to the New Gnu Saddle Shop?" she finished.

Jimmy adds, "Either there or the New and Used Gnu and Ewes Supply Depot."

"Is that for new gnus and used ewes or for new ewes and used gnus?"

"Any combination will do. They even clothe nude ewes and gnus for you."

"If the new gnu knew nude ewes use used shoes, they would want a pair too."

"Why would the gnus choose shoes when what they need is a saddle."

"I don't know. I'll have to ask them."

And she did.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chicken Racing

I was driving down a country road, doing about 40 mph, when a chicken appeared and was running along side my car. I was amazed at how fast this chicken was running. I noticed something peculiar about the bird; it had three legs. I hit gas and accelerated to 55 mph. The chicken kept up. I did 80 and so did the chicken. This was extraordinary. Before I could go any faster, the chicken passed me and was leaving my car in its dust. It was a dot in the distance when I saw it turn right and up to a farm. I had to find out about this creature. A minute later I turned down the long drive towards the farm. A farmer was standing outside his barn and waved me down. I stopped my car next to the farmer.

"Bet you're following my chicken," he said.

"Yes, I was. Was my eyes playing tricks or did that chicken have three legs?"

"Indeed she does. It took years of breeding to produce a three legged bird."

"You planned that? Why?"

The farmer said, "You married?"

"Yes," I answered.

"Do you ever have chicken for dinner?"

"On occasion."

"Do you like the drumstick?"


"Does your wife like a drumstick?"

She does and I told him so.

"Well, suppose you're having dinner and you both have a drumstick. That works out okay. But what if you have a guest over. He may want a drumstick also. That's why I bred a three legged bird. To have an extra just in case."

"Really," I exclaimed. "That's astounding. Does the drumsticks from the three legger taste as good as a two legged chicken?"

"I haven't tried one yet."

"Why not?" I asked.

"Can't catch 'em."

(If you like this joke, thank you. If not, blame Buddy Hackett. I stole it from him.)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Star of Stage, Screen and Radio

If William Claude Dukenfield was still alive, he would be celebrating his 125th birthday this month. Unfortunately he died on Christmas Day 1946. Not just before I was born, but before my parents ever met. Still, I know his tale in more detail than my own. I can visualize the endless days he spent learning to juggle in the 1880s and 90s. I can't juggle, but I do have a juggler vein. I can empathize with his terror as his father would go into drunken rages and beat the boy. I can share his victory in the mid-1890s when he stood up to his father, winning the brawl, and leaving home for good.

He may have left his parents abode, but he stayed in touch with his mother. William sent her money regularly when he his talent was realized and he began getting paid extremely well. He started out working in vaudeville in 1896 as a juggler/stage hand. As time went by, he did less cleaning up and more performing. By the turn of the 20th century, Bill Dukenfield was one of the most famous jugglers in America. As his talent grew, so did his celebrity.

By 1910, he was a world famous juggler, husband and father. In that order. He married his assistant Harriet in 1900 and the two of them traveled the world with Bill Dukenfield headlining in every theater he performed. In 1904 Harriet, his wife, gave birth to their only heir, a son. Harriet stayed in the States raising the boy while Bill continued to tour the planet. The two remained married until his death, yet they never resided together again.

Around 1910, William Claude Dukenfield known on stage as W.C.Fields, added a trick pool table to his act. He had a mirror angled overhead for the audience to view. He was trying to keep his act fresh. He also added a car that would fall about on cue. (Charlie Chapman, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, and many more all used the break-apart car. W.C. was the originator.) Audiences loved him, yet he felt he wasn't giving enough. Up until 1912, Bill never spoke on stage. His first line was an ad lib. During his performance one night, behind the curtains someone knocked over something and made a loud crash. Bill winced, pulled up his shoulders and said "Drat. Mice!" It was the biggest laugh he had had up to this point in his life. And he liked it. The accidental crash became part of his act.

Soon he discovered that when he goofed up juggling and made some under the breath remark, the audience roared. He kept adding more and more lines to his juggling act, and less juggling. By 1915, when Bill was 35, he started the second career of his life as a stand up comic. He headlined Ziegfeld's Follies for many years as a comedian juggler. Flo Ziegfeld and W.C.Fields were constantly at each other's throat. Ziegfeld insisted having one of his girls (Ziegfeld Follies was well known to have the most beautiful women) walk across the stage while Bill was doing his act. The chorus girl would be walking a greyhound, both of them strutting their stuff, right in front of Bill. Not one to be upstaged, Bill remarks to the lady, "Nice horse you have there." The audience laughed and Ziegfeld got angry. He did not like having his girls being the butt of a joke. Since W.C. had a contract, the only thing Ziegfeld could do in retaliation was to keep Fields off the stage. He could keep him out of the public eye but he still had to keep paying him. In 1921 W.C.Fields was the highest paid performer not performing anywhere.

After his time was through with Ziegfeld, W.C. left vaudeville to star on Broadway. He was in several plays, the most notable was "Poppy." In 1925, he reprised his Poppy role for the silent film "Sally of the Sawdust." Beginning a film career at 45, Bill became a hit of the silent screen. All of his dialog from vaudeville went into a trunk waiting for the pictures to speak.

In 1930, as talkies became the vogue, W.C. took on a new film persona; the child hating, animal loathing drunk. Usually if an actor kicks a child in the rear, the audience will boo and his. When W.C. would do so, the audience cheered him on.

Up until his 40's, W.C. was a teetotaler. When his character was known for being drunk, W.C. was merely a social drinker. But by 1935, the fiction became a reality. Bill Fields was a full fledged alcoholic. His drinking interfered with his movie career. He started missing a lot of time on the lots. In these periods, W.C. took to recording monologues at his home. These were sold to radio. Because of being too intoxicated to appear on film, W.C. became a radio star.

One of the most popular radio actors of the time was Edgar Bergen. This I don't understand. Edgar Bergen was a ventriloquist... on the radio. One of his dummies was named Charlie McCarthy. W.C. and Charlie would verbally duel regularly on the radio. W.C. did get some good laughs at Charlie's expense, although the dummy would usually triumph over Fields.

The majority of Fields performances for the last five years of his life was on the radio. He wrote all his own material. In fact, the only piece I know that W.C. did not rewrite in his own style was the role of Micawber in the movie "David Copperfield." W.C. had a heartfelt respect for Charles Dickens and would not veer from the authors words. Fields, throughout his entire life, was an avid reader. He traipsed steamer trunks full of books all over the world during his vaudeville days. He had a love for language and studied the dictionary religiously. He lacked a formal education, never entering high school, yet he was self-taught to such a degree that he could hold his own with college professors.

It was a misconception that Fields hated children. In his last years in Hollywood, he anonymously donated countless gifts every Christmas to Children's Hospitals. Yet, there is one child he was not so fond of; Baby Leroy, a child actor in several of his movies. There was scene where he was suppose to hold the baby for about a half minute. The child would not cooperate; he kept squirming and crying ruining take after take. Finally W.C. started dipping the baby's pacifier in gin. After sucking on the pacifier for a few minutes, the baby staggered through the scene like a Barrymore. At the end of the shoot, Baby Leroy fell deep asleep and W.C. remarked, "Kid just can't hold his liquor."

There are many movie roles that W.C. turned down over the years. The one role that may have been a mistake for him to turn down was "The Wizard of Oz." The script was written with him in mind to play the Wizard. It was filled by Frank Morgan. There reason Bill turned it down is disputed. Some claim he refused the role because there was not enough screen time. Others say it was because the studio would not meet his salary demands. The Wizard of Oz is a movie classic. Imagine how more it would be if W.C. had heralded over Oz.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Old Man and the Sea

I want a special word. I want a word that everyone knows but only I am allowed to use. I want a word that if I find it written in books I can have that book rewritten having my special word substituted with a less meaningful word. I want a word that I can use openly without hesitation in any songs or books that I write, but if someone else uses it, I can become indignant and have that person scorned publicly. I want a word that if someone uses it on me, that I can have that person imprisoned for an ungodly length of time. I want a word that turns the "sticks and stones" aphorism on its ear.


I just watched a documentary about octopi. I was amazed. I never gave these critters much credit before now. It seems that the octopus is one of the smartest creatures on this planet. Don't worry, they are not as intelligent as homo sapiens. Apparently, the octopus uses deductive reasoning and are advanced problem solvers. They are capable of figuring out how to unscrew a jar. (That reminds me of an old joke about light bulbs and pregnant women, but this is not the time or place.) The octopi can also learn from watching each other. If one octopus watches another figure out how to unscrew a jar, when presented with that jar, the observer goes directly to the solution. The reason the jar experiment is used is to illustrate deductive reasoning is because a monkey can only unscrew a jar if it is shown how, but an octopus can figure out the workings of the lid without any assistance. Yes, this documentary boldly boasted how the octopus is smarter than apes! Who'd a thunk it? Although octopi cannot communicate directly with each other, they learn from each other by observation. Another fact about the octopus that I found amazing was that they have nine brains; one in their head and one in each arm. These creatures are so smart that I wouldn't be surprised to find, a few short years from now, octopi wearing lab coats testing human intelligence. So it goes.


Does North Korea scare the bejesus out of anybody else? Has the countdown begun for World War III? I got to quit reading world news. With all the unrest, natural disasters, insane leaders and daily suicide bombers, it feels like Armageddon is right around the corner. Just in time for 2012.

So many people believe that 12-21-2012 will be the end-of-days, it will be shame to disappoint them. We better whip them up a batch of good old Jonestown Kool-Aid just in case.


I named this post "The Old Man and the Sea." The "Sea" part refers to octopi. For three points and an extra portion of tonights main course, who do I refer to as the "Old Man?" Hint: His name does not appear in this post.

I will leave you with this parting thought. I want to live a long time, but I don't want to be old. Is that a conundrum?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Tom Waits Experiment

I'm not sure if this will work on all browsers. It works on my browser, Google Chrome. This is the first time I put music on my blog. Press the arrow to play. I hope you enjoy this song. I do.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Harriet and Ozzie

Harriet glares at her husband Ozzie while he is eating a bowl of ice cream.  He sees his wife is irate and says, "What?"

"When are you going to find a job?"  she demands through clenched teeth.

"Gee, dear, you know we're in the middle of a depression."

"It's a recession."

"That's what I meant..."

"And the recession is over.  The President says so."

"It may be over, but there still isn't any jobs."

"There's less and less people collecting unemployment.  There must be jobs."

"Not really, honey.  There's less people collecting unemployment because they are no longer eligible for benefits.  Not because they found jobs."

"Your sons have jobs!" declares Harriet.

Ozzie makes a face and says, "David is a lawyer.  If you can call that working.  He chases ambulances trying to get clients.  And all Ricky does, is sing and play guitar at school dances.  That's more of a hobby, not a job."

Harriet shouts back, "They are making money!  Don't you talk bad about them, Ozzie."

"I love 'em, you know I do.  And, yes, they do make money.  Of course, we never see it.  Ricky is always hitting me up for a few bucks until payday.  When is his payday anyway?  He's up to owing me around 5 or 6 thousand."

"Ricky is gonna be big in rock and roll."

"Rock and roll?" Ozzie says under his breath, " Crushing up a rock of coke and rolling it into a joint..."

"I heard that, Mister Smarty Pants!"

"Sorry, dear..."

"I'll "sorry, dear" you... right upside your head!  I told you not to talk bad about our boys."

Ozzie spoons another mouthful of ice cream.

Harriet tilts her head back and asks the ceiling, "Why did I ever marry this oaf?"

Ozzie says, ""Cause you love my lovin'."

Harriet looks at him and shakes her head no.

Ozzie, tired of bickering, opens his mouth and shows Harriet the ice cream inside. He says "I got ice cream tongue." and smiles teasingly.

Harriet's frustration has peaked and she begins to calm down.  Finally she shrugs her shoulders and takes Ozzie by the hand.  She says, "Maybe I can rent that tongue out to my bridge club."  and leads her husband upstairs.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pondering Politics

It may turn out that 2011 will be a very good year.  Only three days old and already the number of my followers has doubled.  

Another good thing about 2011 is that Michigan has a new governor; one that was not only actually born in the United States, but born in Michigan itself.  Our last Governor, Jennifer Granholm, was born in Canada.  That was one thing that confuses me about politics.  Why would people vote for someone who hails from someplace else.  Jeb Bush, a Texan, was Florida's Governor.  Florida's current Governor, Charlie Crist, hails from Pennsylvania.  Mitt Romney, a Michigander, was Utah's Governor.  His father, George Romney, who was Michigan's Governor back in the 1960s, was born in Mexico. Alaska'a Governor Parnell was born in California.  He replaced Sarah Palin who was born in Idaho.  Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer was born in California.  The list is long, but I will stop here.  You should get my point by now.  I don't mean to imply that these were bad leaders, although they are not all perfect.  I would like to know why they abandoned their home state.  If I was put in charge of helping out one state, I would not choose Georgia or Wyoming.  I would want to benefit Michigan as much as possible before considering looking elsewhere. So, I'm sorry Vermont, the building of my electric car plant will not be in your state.  Nor yours, Rhode Island.  I'm putting it in Michigan.

Old joke time again.  Stop me if you know this one.  Two men are standing at urinals.  They both finish at the same time.  The first man goes to the sink and turns on the water, while the second man heads for the exit.  The first man speaks loud enough for the second man to hear, "My mother taught me to wash my hands after taking a leak."  The second man looks back at the first man and says as he is leaving the bathroom, "Well my mother taught me not to piss on my fingers."

I will take my leave now and let you groan in private.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

And Off We Go Into 2011...

Every year I make New Years Resolutions.  Every year I fail to keep them.  So this year I will only make one single resolution.  If I only make one, then I can concentrate on it and make it successful.  My New Year Resolution for 2011 is: "I will not make any New Year resolutions."  That one should be easy to keep.

I quit smoking in 2002.  I wish I had made that a resolution for that year.  I did not.  Now that I know I can quit cigarettes, I should start smoking again so I can make a do-able resolution next New Years.  If I were to start back my old nicotine habit, I would have to do it slowly.  I could begin with the patches and work my way up.  Linda already has the patches.  They have been in the house for over a year.  She claims they don't work.  She finds it impossible to keep them lit.

Steven King wrote a great short story about kicking the cigarette habit.  It was called "Quitters Inc."  It was about a man who went to a clinic that was run by the mafia.  He told them he wanted to quit smoking and they told him okay, you don't smoke anymore.  They threw out his cigarettes and said if he were to light up again, they would physically hurt his family.  Now that is a great motivator.   Will love of family overcome tobacco dependency?  Read it and find out.


Here's a riddle for you: What do we have this year that we haven't had in eight years and won't have again for six years? Or how are 2003, 2011 are 2017 the same?  Well, I won't keep you in suspense.  All three years are prime numbers.  Another fun fact from that trivial mind of mine.


My pool of knowledge is rapidly being drained.  I am in need of fuel to continue.  Time for Sunday breakfast.  I am gonna have a couple eggs.  How do I want them? you ask.  I want one egg fried on one side and the second one fried on the other.  I stole that line from S.J.Perelman.  In case you don't know, S.J.Perelman was a writer for the Marx Brothers and one of Groucho's closest friends.  If Perelman's material was good enough for Groucho, then its good enough for me.   After all, we went to different schools together.

Sorry, but I didn't want to wow you with my wit and wisdom.  This is my first post in 2011 and if I don't set the bar too high, then future posts will only get better and better.  See how I considerate I am.