To Our Dear Grandsons, Whom We Miss Terribly

Dear Revilo and Leirbag,

Even though our faces have Facetimed, please be aware that we miss you terribly and have begun to wash our faces with strawberry jelly just before smelling the driveway juices run down the sides of the Very Important Egg Warmers (VIEWs), If you don’t believe us, well, I guess I can only remind you of the time that both of you never fell down from that gigantic pile of roasted pickle tires!! Right??? Yes!! And of course there was also never the time when you each tried to swallow my radio controlled sandwich bags!! Oh, and of course there was the incident when large whale pebbles never filled your sneakers when you weren’t hiding in the ocean during that one time that never happened!!

Of Course!!

Now I’m afraid I need to call the LAWYERS!! Yes!! You see, I woke up the other day (or was it night??) to discover sawdust flying from the rafters in our attic. When I went to investigate, I noticed that the landscape business next door had chopped away the side of our house to make a storage area for their weed whackers and assorted metal cylinders. I asked Nini what the HECK happened, and she just looked at the ground and mumbled, “um… they needed the room or something.” So I told her we needed to call the LAWYERS. Yes. Just before that I was riding around the hills in some sort of crazy tube thing. It was fun but I really had no control over where I was going so that was a bit weird.

Then I woke up FOR REAL, and remembered that we had pizza with ham, salami, pepperoni, sausage, and golf balls (OK, maybe no golf balls) for dinner that night; and eating that much processed meat often gives me very strange dreams. This is a true thing you see. And the dream seemed pretty real too. No foolin’. I call dreams like that “free movies.”

Speaking of movies, have you seen that one movie where those people were doing things in a place? And they talked to each other and also wore interesting costumes? Sometimes they were running around yelling, and other times they were very quiet except for the burping. I think the name of the movie was… um… OK I don’t remember. Perhaps you know it. Was that one cool or what?? I’m gonna make me a movie some day. I believe it will be “Mighty Mouse Meets Godzilla.” Rather than fighting, they become friends and team up to educate squid and also give teenage dung beetles the ability to find really good poop. A movie like that will likely become a franchise. I’ll be RICH I tell you!!!

Or maybe I’ll just be Papa.

My dear Grandsons, I really must inform you that when I write a letter like this, it comes from inside my socks which should really have been put in the laundry many days ago. Nobody likes bad odor in the foot area; and I am really tired of Freddy the Freeloader crinkling his eyes and calling me “Mr. Stinky Toes.” Tomorrow I’m going to try to recycle some old milk that is starting to smell badly. I believe if I put it in the washing machine with Mr. Monkey’s Milk Mender Solution it will make a really big mess and Nini will send me to the garage with a bag of old staple guns.

Alright then. I must away to the Interwebs to find for you a cartoon that is both nutritious and easily melted into a pleasant but invisible fire extinguisher. We Love You and may your nostrils never be filled with TV antennas.

Peace, Love and Social Distancing Hugs,

Papa (me)

Eye Can’t Believe It!!

Because I was born before The Beatles came to America on the Mayflower, I’m becoming painfully aware of something: I’m getting OLD!! Well, my body is anyway. My mind still thinks I’m young. In fact, I’ve been told by people much younger than me that I “don’t act like an old person.” I tell my friends that I’m a child in old man’s clothing. Then I pass a mirror; and if I dare to look, the truth slaps me in the head. I think to myself (sometimes out loud), “hey Mister!! What the HECK did you do with the young guy that used to live in there??”

Oh what the heck. This is me, wrinkles, receding hairline, and all. I don’t much care about how youthful I look anymore. Why should I? Not like I’m on the prowl for a mate or anything. I’ve been blessed: my soulmate is a Beautiful Young Woman (she’s a whole 3 months younger than me). We met when we were 17 year old kids and are still best friends. Nope… what you see is what you get with the likes of me. And as my Beautiful Girlfriend has been fond of saying lately, “better to be seen than to be viewed.”

I’ve also been told that this getting old crap is not for sissies. Ain’t that the truth!! This stuff can be painful!! Remember that statement about my brain thinking I’m a youngster?? Well that can cause problems when I try to do anything that involves physical effort. Sure, I can do pretty much everything I’ve always done over the years; but sometimes it takes longer, and other times it hurts. Even getting out of bed can produce very annoying SNAP!! CRACKLE!! POP!! noises those Kellogg’s Rice Crispies commercials touted back in the day.

Thankfully, my eyes seem to be “hangin’ in,” as Aunt Joyce used to say. Just before retirement I went to the eye doctor for a checkup, and I was told I passed the driver’s test without glasses. He also mentioned an onset of cataracts, “but no need to do anything about it.” Same diagnosis as my last exam which I think was about 4 years ago. I use readers to compensate for aging lenses inside my 66 year old eyeballs; but otherwise I see pretty well. Or at least I thought I did, until two days ago.

I woke up the other day and put my glasses on to read while in the… um… library (bathroom). Weird… my right eye was seeing strangely fuzzy text. I took off my wire frame glasses, rubbed my eyes a bit, put them back on and resumed reading. Still a little fuzzy. After breakfast I opened my laptop and started reading some e-mails. “What’s up with this right eye??” I wondered to myself. Went in the bathroom and doused both eyes with eye drops. Put the glasses back on. Seemed a little better… oh wait… nope!! Still fuzzy.

Now I’m getting a bit frightened.

Took the glasses off again, this time soaked a washcloth in very hot water and applied the hot compress to my eye; hoping this method could dissolve whatever this film might be. Put the glasses back on… Nope!! Now I’m getting scared. I sought out my Honey Pie (glasses still on). “She’s a nurse,” I told myself, “she’ll notice if something is wrong.” “Honey!!” I pleaded. “Can you look at my right eye and tell me if it looks OK?” She gazed carefully… “No, I don’t see any film or anything.” She did mention maybe I had an indentation on one side of my eyeball, but seems like I clunked myself there many moons ago. But I was primarily getting upset about my vision.

My magnifying mind started wondering if I had some sort of obscure stroke; or how I should type out a search string on the interwebs to figure out what the heck the deal was. Off I went to the bedroom for something (who knows why). There on my nightstand was a lens from a pair of glasses. MY pair of glasses. The ones I was wearing!! The instant I saw this lens, all I could do was laughed very hard.

So my friends, as you can see, this getting old stuff ain’t for sissies. And it seems that no matter how old I get, some of the terrible things that plague my existence are completely imagined by my magnifying mind. The miracle for today is: I CAN SEE!! It’s AMAZING!! And I can laugh about it.

Life is good.

When I grow up, I wanna be like Grampy….

Just Trying To Help

Corporate greed seems to have become a global phenomenon. In too many corporations here and abroad, the people who call the shots seem to live in a different universe.  They really don’t care much about the average family person who is trying to make a living.  They may say they do, but they really don’t.  Otherwise, jobs in this country would not be moved to other countries.  Sure, if we kept the jobs here it would “cost more to do business,” which mostly seems to mean that the Really Big Shots wouldn’t get their millions.  Well maybe they don’t need millions.  Does anybody really need more than a million dollars??  Not me… so they can just give me a million and I’ll quit complaining about corporate greed.

Or not…

Anyway, since I know people whose jobs are in jeopardy, I thought maybe I’d try to be a helpful with this week’s Happy Friday thing.  I have been the victim of corporate downsizing in the past; so I’ve been there and done that.  It wasn’t the end of the world.  Actually it was the beginning of a pretty cool journey.  I explored some alternative career ideas and got to know myself and my family better.  And finally after many moons of being out of work, I got a job.

One thing I’ve learned is:  probably the most important ingredient of a good job hunt is a resume.  Keep it to a single page.  Emphasize your strengths and achievements, and especially focus on the skills you have that an employer needs.  What I ended up doing was keeping a general resume “on file” and modified it to suit the particular job I was targeting.

Another good tool is an introductory cover letter.  For a guide, I dug an old one out of my archives and thought I would share it with you.  You have my permission to steal it and alter it in any way you see fit.  This one may (or may not) be the exact same letter I sent to Ludmilla Sunkenchin, who was HR director of Blammo Manufacturing.  So without any further ado, here it be:


To Whom It May Concern,

This is in response to the advertisement for a Working Type Person. I understand that you were accepting money up front, to get people jobs and stuff like that. I intended to respond sooner, but my cat threw up inside my shoes, and then even my slippers!! So I’m sure you can empathize that I’ve been distracted.

Please consider this as a letter of application because I need a stinking job.

The jerks I have been working for at XYZ Industries these past 27 days have laid me off ; and I’m sure I don’t need to tell a person like you how that makes me squirm inside.  However, I believe that I the skills I acquired there were probably useless, but that doesn’t really matter now does it??. I’m really good at taking breaks, and I know how to impress the best of them. I figure that if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull manookey. I worked on various types of equipment during my career at XYZ, but most of it was pretty old and always screwing up, so I don’t really know how to run anything without a large hammer in the immediate vicinity.

I have computer experience… after all, I do own a Sony Playstation.  Them video games have really increased my ability to react quickly under stress. There goes a fly! HA! Got it!!  See what I mean? As for my ability to interact with others, I enjoy meeting new people, especially when they give me money. Those are the nice ones, ya know?

Please let me know the exact date upon which I can expect to apply my skills at your place of employment. I am available for an interview, and would enjoy the opportunity to give you $20 up front and more if I get the job. I will be “checking in” frequently with you to keep tabs on your progress in hiring me.  Get back to me soon, or else you may soon find some “souvenirs” from my kitty’s litter box in your mail slot.

Ha ha, just kidding I think maybe.

Thank You,


P.S.:  I did not choose to share my name at this time, as you will learn more about me during the hiring process, and especially when I have learned of my start date.  Some upfront information:  I can’t work where women are present, because I usually have pretty offensive gas.  Also, if there are men around, they should stay away from me, because they normally have even worse gas than me.  Other than that, I can do work real good unless I don’t feel like doing what you ask me to do.  In cases like that, just ask me what I feel like doing that day and I’ll probably get right to it.


Well my friends there you have it.  As I said, feel free to use this cover letter in its entirety if you wish.  Or maybe tweak it a little… but I think it stands on its own merit.  If you find it useful, please let me know very soon; as I also have some bridge property for sale at reduced rates for special people like you.

Hopefully, your next interview won’t go like this…

Corona Oh No

Wow… what a difference a week makes!! Last week I was merrily hopping around, hugging all my friends, shaking hands, enjoying life, the universe, and everything. This week, I still merrily hop around, and I still enjoy life, the universe, and everything; but no more hugging or shaking hands. For those I hug, I’m switching to the following procedure: I look the person in the eyes, smile, and say “I Love You.” Same as a hug really…

Well, almost.

I work in a factory, and thankfully we have a big shrink wrap machine. So for my own protection I’ll be getting shrink wrapped every day for the next few weeks. I’ll put drinking straws in my nostrils so I can breathe, and just hop around like that. For safety you see. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do when I need to go to the bathroom. Oh, and eating lunch might be a challenge. Holy Carp!! I’ll need my hands to work!! So I guess no, I probably shouldn’t do the shrink wrap thing.

I consider myself a pretty healthy guy. You know, a strong immune system and such. However, the facts are very convincing. I’m getting older now, and I could become very ill if I get this virus. But even if I get just a mild case, or don’t get infected at all, I have to be very wary and stay germ free for the sake of my Beautiful Girlfriend so she doesn’t get sick. And I sure don’t want to inadvertently pass a bug to someone else who has a family member that could suffer badly from COVID-19. I’ll admit I was not eager to stop hugging; nor to avoid gatherings. But this really does need to be taken very seriously. We all just need to work together and change how we interact with each other so we can slow this stupid virus down. All the guidelines are being blasted into our eyes and ears in the form of TV and radio news reports; and of course all the internet is roaring with stories.

We just need to help each other get through this. I’ll sure I’ll be fine… I’m spoiled rotten. I’m very grateful that I have income, plenty of food, and no debt. I am blessed with enough that I was able to donate some bucks to our local rescue mission this week. I consider that to be the very least I can do. Many folks are not nearly as fortunate as me. I pray for them often, and I’ve been praying for them even more often lately.

My friends, if you see me out and about, it’s probably because I need groceries and so on. My Lovely Bride and I are laying low to avoid direct contact with people as much as possible, until otherwise directed. If you normally get a hug from me, I hope you’ll understand when I keep some distance and say “I Love You” instead. And of course, I refuse to stop being silly. I’ll continue to post very silly things on Facebook in an effort to help people smile. I will also be using a strange type of technology called a telephone to check in on friends from time to time. We have one of those weird landline things that has an ancient device known as “The Answering Machine.” If you know our home number, be prepared; I plan to change the greeting often for your amusement (it’s possible I have a little fun with my recordings).

We can get through this. If we all do what’s recommended; things will improve. But I must say, nobody told me there’d be days like these!!

Ketchup On Bills??

I work in a factory, which of course is the spawn of a corporate universe. Most corporations expect people to behave in a professional manner at all times. I’ve been in the military and very much understand how to conduct myself in a professional manner. I get the opportunity to “practice” this often at work; but I also frequently encounter the folks who actually perform tasks that produce a product, like running machines, etc. These are the folks, in my professional opinion, who are the most valuable part of any corporation. Many of them are not very happy these days… these are uncertain times.

Those who know me are very aware that I’m a WYSIWYG kind of guy. WYSIWYG is an acronym that’s not seen much these days. The term dates back to the 1970s, when dinosaurs roamed the earth; and it stands for What You See Is What You Get. And what you get with me can be rather silly at times; and the workplace is no exception.

 I understand that work is work, and that clowning is a different profession than the work stuff for which I get paid. However, we recently enjoyed a requirement to wear safety shoes in the factory; and mine have a big black outline where the toes are. I affectionately call them “clown shoes;” because that’s what they look like to me.

Clown shoes notwithstanding, I’m kinda hooked on spreading a smile around when I can… nothing smutty mind you.  Just funny stuff.  This seems especially pertinent these days, with so much sadness in the world. On top of all that, my cohorts are stressed about working for a company that too often doesn’t exactly leave one feeling warm and fuzzy inside the nasal passages (or any other vegetable operated pencil sharpener).

I’ve been a bit loony ever since I can remember, and it just doesn’t seem to fade with old age. Perhaps I’ll make strange faces at people while I’m walking… just to break the monotony. Oh yes, and I also know how to walk in a silly manner. And then there are times I find myself singing loudly at work, because it’s already loud there anyway. Often I’ll sing for the mere pleasure of it, maybe whistle or hum a tune. Other times, however, my coworkers give me funny looks because I’m singing Tarzan yodels or maybe some mock operatic rendition like, “FEE GAAA RO!”

My friends in the factory work tons of overtime, so I try to help them smile even about that situation. Here’s a conversation I had just today with a friend, that illustrates my amplified toast hammer encryption:

“You workin’ this weekend?” I asked.

“Yeah,” was the subdued response.

“Sunday too?” I quizzed.

“Yeah, catch up on bills,” she said, and of course I went for it: “Ketchup on bills??” I joked. “Why would you put ketchup on bills?? Doesn’t make them taste any better does it??”

She giggled a little. Mission accomplished.

It could also be possible that I use our instant messaging system to greet friends with spiritually uplifting verse such as:

The break room is closed for today, they’re changing the bearings in the trash compactor and they don’t want anyone to upset the ballast softeners.


I’ve decided not to brush my teeth with Vaseline any longer. It frightens the chimney.

And also…

If you don’t start applying sticky labels to your eyebrows you’ll never get to enjoy “Sticky Paper Face Happiness.”

Of course, there are times when I discuss the status quo with my fellow workers; and we commiserate about the sadness we see around us. That’s when I veer off topic and say something truly diabolical like, “I just need to just stay grateful. The pay is decent, it’s close to home, and the benefits are OK. Plus, we have wonderful friendships here.” When the realities of work and the world get me down, I just cling to that childlike notion that in spite of all our troubles, I’m very fortunate to be alive and reasonably healthy.

I’m too proud to be a bum, too chicken to be a criminal, so I work for a living. Might as well have fun while doing it!! I’m definitely still a child. I’m just an old one. Now, would you like me to get out my portable Cook-A-Ma-Thing and fry you up some chicken weed? No?? Well that’s good, because I have no idea what chicken weed is.

So there.

Maybe part of the reason I’m so fond of silly stuff is because I grew up watching cartoons like this…

Foogly’s Fribbly Travels

When grandsons come to visit, they get to choose what I write for “Happy Friday!!!” When I asked what the title for this week’s story should be, Ollie quickly said, “Fribbly’s Travels.” Then his younger brother Gabe mentioned, “you always get to choose!!” “Well Gabe,” I asked, “what would you like me to write about?” “Foogly’s travels!” he answered quickly. “Hmmm,” I replied. “How about Foogly’s Fribbly Travels??” They both chuckled their approval. So without further ado, here is:

Foogly’s Fribbly Travels

Late one morning, just before sunset during a thunderstorm which suddenly erupted into a very cold snow that seemed very crunchy and full of worms, Foogly was so bored he started drawing “Dream Maps” about really cool amusement parks made of sticks, rocks, crayons, and a sentence that was way too long. Foobly called them “Dream Maps” because these were places he had always dreamed of visiting, but for some strange reason they did not sell his favorite food: tomato ice cream soup with grilled coyote toenails.

Foogly’s friend Cheeba was watching intently as these maps were drawn with some of the most beautiful colors. After the 17th map was made, Cheeba decided to offer her opinion about some really cool places to see. “Foogly, I really like your cool maps!” Cheeba declared. “But hey, I have some really fribbly places you might like to visit also!!” she continued. “Fribbly??” wondered Foogly. “What does ‘fribbly’ mean??” “It’s a combination of “wow” and “holy moly!!” Cheeba replied. “Oh… well not sure how you got that, but OK, if you say so,” Foogly said.

Cheeba offered to make her own maps, but with a twist. “Foogly, may I please borrow your cell phone?” she asked. Foogly answered, “I don’t have one, but here’s my Dad’s… he won’t mind… I don’t think.” “OK cool,” Cheeba said, and continued, “next I need a pot of water.” Foobly filled a 2 quart pot with some water. “Next,” Cheeba went on, “we’ll need 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 ½ teaspoons of cat litter (unused), 14 drops of red food coloring, and a small candle.” “What do we do with all that??” Foogly asked. “Just hand them all to me and I’ll show you,” Cheeba replied.

Foogly brought all the supplies to Cheeba and watched with wonder as she dumped them all into the pot of water and stirred everything up with a wooden spoon. “OK!” Cheeba said. “Now hand me those comics and a pair of scissors.” Foogly was a bit confused, but he went ahead and got the comics and the scissors and gave them to Cheeba. She giggled a little (I think she thought last week’s Garfield was pretty funny), then started cutting up the comics into little shreds and dumped them in the pot with all the rest of the stuff; and again she began to stir.

Cheeba smiled and stared into the pot, then she shouted, “OK!! LET’S TAKE THIS OUTSIDE!!” “Hey!!” said Foogly, “I’m right here!! You don’t need to shout!!” Cheeba apologized and grabbed the pot and quickly walked outside with it. “OK, ready??” she asked Foogly. “Um… I guess!!” Foogly answered. Suddenly there came a slushy !! SPLAT !! as Cheeba flung the contents of the pot onto the driveway.

“Wow!!” said Foogly, being awestruck by the mess. “Holy Moly!!” exclaimed Cheeba with a big grin. She was pretty happy with all the weird patterns everything made in the driveway. “OK,” she said, “you still have your Dad’s cell phone?” “Yep,” answered Foogly, and he handed it to her. Cheeba dialed a number and put the phone to her ear. “Hi Mom!! Yes, I’m still at Foogly’s house. Can you come and pick us up so we can go get some ice cream? Really?? Cool!!! Oh and can we go to that holy moly wow museam afterward? Yes?!?!? That would be really fribbly!! Thank you Mom!!” Cheeba hung up and handed the phone back to Foogly.

“Let’s go back inside and wait for my Mom,” Cheeba said. “But what about the mess in the driveway??” Foogly pleaded. “Don’t worry,” Cheeba reassured him. “All that stuff will combine and dissolve before you know it.” Foogly wasn’t so sure, but he was very happy that Cheeba’s Mom came to get them before his Dad got home from work. There was still a big mess in the driveway, but Foogly and Cheeba had a very fribbly afternoon. And they had ice cream!!

The End

Isthmus Be My Lucky Day

I’m telling you right now, I just have been sick up and fed lately and nobody can help it but me. The space between my ears has been clouded with moldy plum sugar, and my eyes have twitched radically while small animals sing “On Top of Old Smokey.” What I’m trying to say is, work has been stressful, and in my professional opinion, nothing cures a good ham like nonsensical pine with gently simmered nuclear fossil wagons.

Life of a computer geek can be… um… well… similar to bent plastic spoons in a 40 pound tub of month old gravy. Terrible things occur at my work place that should really not happen to a gentle soul like me. Expensive parts vanish in thin air when on their way from the shipping dock to my office. People call me and cry because their favorite program is gone. People also sing of sadness when the network is not working. I have phone calls right here on this page that prove this:

“Hi Ken, this is Merm. I signed on to my computer this morning and my FronkleZoolik was gone! The icon was there yesterday… I just don’t know what happened to it!”

“Hmmm…” I reply, pretending to be amazed. “Did you look in your recycle bin??” My caller pauses a bit, then says, “I don’t have that on here.”

“Well,” I reply again some more, “try closing all your programs and see if your recycle bin is there.” Then the wonderful soul on the other end pauses a bit, and says, “oh there it is!! And wow, my FronkleZoolik is right there… thanks, Ken!!”

On the other hand, I get the happy folks who call and leave me voicemail in this manner: “Hi Ken. I think need an IP address or something for this… compute… errrrr… um nevermind! It’s working now!” I wanted to tell him that the bathroom is not at a separate address, but inside the building down the hall. Dunno about him, but when IP, I go to the nearest vestibule. Be sure to wash your teeth and brush your hands when done tinkling (or doo-doodling)!!

These are lovely events, however, because they make me smile in the midst of my run like a chicken with no marshmallows kind of day. I’ve known for many galloobs that this line of work can make your drivly-griks raw from too much noofling, but the particular job I’m doing now is the biggest one I’ve ever had. I’ve also snaveled in the harsh universe of family relationship ouchiness. So, a silly granule of self-rising toe jam is just what the doctor ordered to be mailed to Uzbekistan. I need to inflate both my gratitude and my sense of humus regularly, or I begin to take all this life stuff way too seriously, and frankly, that just ain’t no any so good.

Wonk, wonk, wonk the little bugmonsters utter new and exciting versions of the Spar Strangled Banana. Now that lumps of freshly scented soap have been discovered in Pilmus, New Voolia, we can all rest assured that nothing useful is being done to increase the life cycle of the lowly portable tuba wrench. After all, when I have a burrito for lunch and my coworkers run in fear for their noses, well, that’s a very special time indeed. Often, my dog has brought nose pollution to the home. I believe this is a direct result of the Double Barf Burger with cheese I bought for him at the drive up window at 7:37 p.m. We never commend him for producing brown air, but instead we scream and spray 89% Freshener Surprise into the neighboring air molecules.

So my friends, only so much nimble doony can be flung through the doors of coagulation at any given time. I will leave you now with the best philosophical happy time thought I can muster under such extreme duress. WHAT’S FIXIN’ TO FOLLOW THIS IS NOT FICTION OR NONSENSE, BUT A REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCE I HAD WHILE WATCHING TV MANY YARGONS AGO. If I cling to this attitude, I know nothing can get me down, for although I cry and whine at times, I REALLY AM GREATFUL FOR LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERYTHING.

OK then, on with the phisopholy: there I was, minding my own business, watching the TV, when the Little Rascals came on and Pappy was assuming the role of school teacher for all the Gang at the Boarding School. He asked many of the class various important questions, which they answered in a most delightful manner. One of the kid’s name was Uh-Huh, and he was asked to use a sentence with the word “isthmus” in it. His answer is the best possible attitude I can carry with me at any given time:

“Isthmus be my lucky day!”

And you know, I’m a pretty fortunate bilge flattener. I need to try to stay positive, and focus on gratitude as my attitude. This and some requests for a little help from my friends will get me through these dark purple animal cracker explosions.

I must now shout that I’m grateful that you are just being who you are. I’m very glad that you are, because if you weren’t, I wouldn’t know you, and holy moly you are important to me. Whoever you are…

Please, always remember that it’s better to be you than for you to be me; and although you can count to it, eight is a word.

Thank you, and good night Melvin!!

One way I might feel better is to make a little bird house in my soul…

My Darling Valentine

Today was the Lovely and Marvelous holiday, Valentine’s Day. Believe it or don’t, I was actually prepared for this in advance!! Even got my “Girlfriend” card a couple weeks ago!! And yes, even though I’m married, I’m fortunate enough to be married to my Beautiful Girlfriend, whom I’ve been dating for 48 years as of this May 19!! Is that amazing or what?? And guess what? We still like each other! A lot even!! This is a very marvelous thing. We’re actually getting pretty good at this sweetheart stuff. Some of our “secrets” to a long and happy relationship are:

  1. We tell each other “I love you” at least once a day. Usually more.
  2. I often remind her that she’s the most beautiful woman in the universe, because it’s true (all other women are the second most beautiful).
  3. We kiss. Often. (I kissed a girl and I liked it.)
  4. We make regular use of the magic words Please and Thank You.
  5. We are best friends and treat each other that way.

Well there are probably a few thousand more reasons but I’ll just quit there. This year, she wanted to prevent me from spending $40 on flowers that are dead in less than a week. “No flowers this year, OK??” she beseeched me over the weekend. So I found a nice lily plant at the store with many buds, but no flowers (yet). After that, I went out to the woods with my chainsaw to bag the traditional Valentine Tree, then Mom and I will set it up in the living room and decorate it with the annual collection of Toilet Paper Ornaments, and the battery powered Monkey Lights.

My lovely sweetheart loves to deck the halls for every holiday, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. In addition to cupid knickknacks, valentine’s bears, frogs, unicorns or whatever else she finds cute, there are plaques with mooshy “Be Mine” sayings all over the house. When the kids were still at home, Valentine’s Day was very similar to Christmas in February. And of course Valentine Toys and Sugarcard Plumswere carefully placed under the Valentine Tree and then the whole family held hands to sing the ancient Valentide Carol:

(Sung to the Tune of My Darling Clementine)

Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, oh my DAARRLIN’ Valentine,

You are soft and very lovely, such a hottie, Valentine.

In the market, in the card store, I will find something so fine,

That my babe will want to smooch me, just because it’s Valentine’s.

Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’ oh my DAARRLIN’ Valentine,

You smell nice and have nice curvings, give me sugar, Valentine.

In the bathroom, on the mirror, decorAAtions make me smile,

Cuz my baby puts ’em up there and they’ll stay there for awhile.

Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, oh my DAARLIN’ Valentine,

Please don’t leave them up till Easter, yes I love you, Valentine.

Well OK maybe we didn’t really have a Valentine’s tree… and maybe I just made up the song too.

After all the jubilation, we all sit down for a traditional Valentine’s Dinner of barbequed spare ribs, taters, maybe some salad, and of course some fake bubbly (sparkling juice).   Dinner was followed by Valentine belching, general good conversation, and the exchange of Valentine gifts and cards.     Following dinner was the traditional Valentine’s Day herding of the kids into their beds. 

Nudge-nudge, wink-wink!!

The kids have been out on their own for some time now, so it was just my Honey Pie and me having dinner. I splurged and bought some scallops and shrimp, and sauteed with them veggies and mushrooms that we had over rice. YUMMMM.

Then we watched a very romantic biography of Edgar Allen Poe on PBS while enjoying fancy chocolate and sparkling juice. Well OK, maybe Edgar Allen Poe wasn’t so romantic. But my employer gives us Presidents Day off, so for this 3 day weekend I have some grandiose romance plans. It may be just a simple sign of affection, when I’ll jump out to greet her with my “special pajamas” when she least expects it.

Nudge-nudge, wink-wink!! Know what I mean??

Holy Time Warp, Batman!!

When my Beautiful Girlfriend and I were kids, Batman and Robin were busy chasing bad guys each week on TV. The show ran from 1966 to 1968; and some of the more memorable lines came from Robin, when he would exclaim, “Holy Luther Burbank!!” or other strange lines. Why am I writing this? Well I was pondering how quickly time passes. I mean hey, our oldest grandson turned 11 this year. His younger brother will be 7 soon. This is really amazing. It sure seems like it was just the day before yesterday I was changing diapers for a young girl who grew up to be their mommy!!

As frogs like to say, “Time’s fun when you’re having flies!!” Robin might have said something different to Batman way back when, like maybe “Holy Time Zooming, Batman!!”

Seems like parenthood is a gigantic time thief. Or maybe that’s just what happen

s when we get older. I mean, when we kids, it seemed like it would be forever for adulthood to arrive. Nowadays I’d love to throw out an anchor or something and make things slow down a bit. So we became parents, then grandparents, and now it seems that time just zips along at breakneck speed. We got married when we were 19, which I thought was a few years ago. Then I did the math… 46 years and counting!!


Don’t get me wrong, we treasure each day we are on the planet. We kinda like it here! But as one of our friends put it, we have “more time in back of us and less time in front of us.” For the most part, we’re not worried about what comes next; we’re both convinced that cool stuff awaits us in the Great Beyond. But hey, let’s not rush things. We’re here now and loving life. It’s just that Holy Cow, we’re grandparents!!

I mean hey, I remember vividly when the Beatles first came to America on the Mayflower! Or something… Anyway, I clearly remember sitting in my grandparents’ apartment in Brooklyn, NY when I was 10. My 8 transistor radio was glued to my ear while the Fab Four disembarked at JFK airport; with all the media of the day interviewing them every step of the way through the crowd of screaming fans. I even jokingly mentioned, “Hey Dad!! The Beatles just landed at JFK! We could go over there to see ‘em!!” “Yeah right!!” he retorted.

One cool thing about being a grandpa is that you get to reflect on all the changes that have happened over the years. Life is exactly the same only completely different these days. With technology alone, things have changed just a wee bit.

Picture this, kiddies. When I was born in 1954, commercial TV had only been rockin’ for about 13 years. Most stuff on TV was live broadcasts. If you had the TV on too early, you’d see a test pattern. If you had it on too late, you’d see a flag waving in the breeze while the national anthem was playing just prior to the station shutting down for the night. There were still dramas and comedies being made for radio. And when you turned on either a radio or a TV, you had to wait a few minutes for them to warm up. Took several minutes for the tubes and their associated circuitry to stabilize. Tubes?? Say what?? Yes, tubes. And even after the radio or TV warmed up you had to mess with the fine tuning to keep your signals coming in clearly. When you dialed a phone, you literally used a dial on the phone. None of the phones took batteries in those days. No fancy ring tones, just a bell. I know that some of you readers out there can outdo me on the dinosaur technology memories; but you get my drift.

Now back to the present day. I’ve noticed some “black holes” where a time warp knocks me in the head when I least expect it. For example: I scurry to get ready for work in the morning. Most of this zaniness is self inflicted, because I sleep till the last minute and then play fireman to get ready for the hour long commute. We heat with sticks (we have wood heat), so it’s my job to get the fires going. One is downstairs in the old part of the house, one upstairs in the addition. I start the furnace downstairs and then grab an armload of wood to offer the wood eater upstairs of course.

Next, I yank open the fridge and grab my lunch; shove it into that delightful Old Navy bag with the Hawaiian lady on the front and the cloth drawstring (our daughter bought me the bag years ago so I would quit killing trees from using paper bags. She loves Old Navy but didn’t really notice the hula girl design till several years later.).

Pour the coffee into the travel mug, grab the cell phone, and head for the garage at precisely 7:00 AM. Get my lunch bucket situated, maybe plug the smell phone into the charger, come around to the driver’s seat and turn on the car.

NOW THE CLOCK SAYS 7:08 AM FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. There is NO WAY it takes me 8 minutes to walk from my back door to the garage. As Robin might have said, “Holy Time Warp, Batman!!” And yes, the car’s clock is correct; just like the clock inside. I’m pretty diligent about that.

If you are old enough to remember the Rocky Horror Picture Show… I mean really remember, meaning you were old enough to enjoy it when it first came on the scene… well then you and I really are in a time warp. Aren’t we?

Don’t believe any of this time warp nonsense? Well all I can say is: I bet you don’t have kids.

You’ll see…

Friggley’s Favorite Game

Happy Friday to all who are reading this; even if you’re not reading it on Friday. Our grandsons are spending the weekend with us, so of course that means it’s time for a silly story.

“I’m looking for a story suggestion… do either of you have a title for a story??” I asked. Ollie thought a minute, and replied, “ how about Friggley’s Favorite game?” “Friggley, huh?” I answered. “Yeah! Friggley,” Ollie said with a big smile. “OK…” I replied, and then started wondering what the heck to write. Anyway here goes:

Friggley’s Favorite Game

IT was a dark and stormy afternoon, just before breakfast while the crinkly worm windows wiggled wildly while whining with whistles. Friggley and Foofle, his pet snick-a-boo were just rolling out of the linen closet when they heard a knock at the back door. It was his friends, Blibber and Zork, and they were wiggling their eyebrows very fluffy-like trying to send eyebrow code to Friggley. Friggley opened the door to let them in, while Foofle danced around on his oversized nostrils in a most jovial manner.

Zork and Blibber laughed most iggidy at Foofle, then sat down and helped themselves to all the nice breakfast food that had been sitting on the table for at least 23 seconds. “Mmmm sure glad you’re our friend and don’t mind us helping ourselves,” Zork said. “These are the best clamshell cupcakes I’ve had all year!!” “Glad you like them,” Friggley snorted. “I found them on the road during The Great Chainsaw Festival. They keep really well in the freezer. You just take them out and yell at them in German and they’re ready to eat!!”

Blibber smiled at his two friends and slipped away to the fridge. He came back with the mustard; popped the top, squeezed the bottle, and started writing his name on one of the cupcakes. “This is what I do before I try to sell these on e-bay,” he chortled. “People like personalized banana lumps that can be reused as holiday decorations. I’m thinking I can sell about 43 of these every day for the next 6 weeks and I won’t have to ride that broken tricycle to school anymore. No no… I’ll be traveling in style. Wait till every one sees my brand new antique log wagon!!”

Friggley was grinning from ear to nose. He always enjoys his friends’ silly ways. Foofle seemed pretty happy also, as he was waggling all 7 of his saberteeth during Zork and Blibbler’s antics. “Hey, would you guys like something to drink? I know those clamshell cupcakes are pretty crunchy,” he said. “Sure!!” Blibbler and Zork said in unison. “Whatchya got??” “Well,” Friggley continued, “we have milk… it’s expired but it doesn’t have much mold on it. We have Mountain Dew… oh, and we have Jabba Jabba Jellyfish Juice.” “YUCKKK!!!” Zork and Blibber exclaimed. Then Zork said, “oooohhh gross!! I’ll have the Jabba Jabba Jellyfish Juice!!” Blibber announced, “I’ll have the milk… you got a mold scraper??” “Sure do,” answered Friggley. “I know it’s disgusting but I’m gonna have the Mountain Dew,” Friggley went on. “You guys OK with that??” Again in unison, Zork and Blibbler said, “yep!”

They all guzzled down their drinks while watching each other make very funny faces. Then Friggley said, “Hey, you guys wanna play my favorite game?” Both Zork and Blibber nodded their heads with enthusiasm. “Cool,” said Friggley. “Wanna play checkers? Of course I like chess almost as much”

Zork and Blibber tilted their heads in wonder. “Huh??” they said. “Chess??” queried Zork. “Checkers??” asked Blibber. “Never heard of them…” they said.

“Oh.” Said Friggley, “OK never mind, let’s just watch some cartoons.”

So they spent the rest of the afternoon burping strange odors from their magnificent beverages, and laughing at the likes of Little Lulu and Betty Boop.

The End