My Important New Year Reciprocities For 2019

Hello Dearest Snapping Turtle Ticklers,

I know this time of year brings out the unique extraterrestrial sandwich making abilities of all the people I’ve never met. After all, another year is coming to a close, and that of course means that a new year will soon be shoving itself under the doorjamb with increasing intensity during the Artificial Aurora Activation, building great suspense as to what the new year may hold in store for us while the cat dashes to the refrigerator for another tall, refreshing glass of Onion Powder Surprise (“…wow!! This tastes like onion powder!! What a surprise!!) and yet another run-on yet very silly sentence makes it way to the interwebs for unsuspecting Chocolate Clickers to read while sipping Bark Noodle Tea.

Yes, I think so.

As the Holidays wind down to a dull roar, this is the time for the often customary promises to be uttered aloud, but sometimes not uttered at all; and these are heavily intensified in order to cajole our brains into thinking that we can actually improve ourselves somehow by creating lofty goals to which we can aspire and hopefully make something better either inside or outside of us.


You know, New Year’s Resolutions.

Yes, have some.

OK, I will. Here are some of the revulsions I may or may not be interested in spraying on my Jinkle Toast during the coming year. I must warn the reader in advance: some of these New Year’s Resonations may cause involuntary snorking and / or ha ha crinkling. In other words, I hope they give you a smile.

Therefore and with Great Fanfare, I Hereby Unnecessarily Capitalize The Announcement of My New Year’s Resuscitations For 2019:

R) I hereby promise to try to attempt to take a whack at an effort to strive for an undertaking; and maybe even 7 of those. Attempts. Tries. Maybe.

4) My body fat index has reached 947% !!! OH MY!!! Maybe I need to enjoy fewer Lard Licking Contests!! What do you mean you’re not supposed to eat the bacon grease?? And… no!!! No more Olive Oil Milkshakes made with 100% heavy whipping cream?? Good Gravy!!! How will I survive??? Oh yeah… fruits and vegetables. Oh yes, and lean proteins. More from plants than animals. Yes. Thank you.

G!) As I sit here typing, I realize that I could combine this finger flinging activity with something more aerobic like perhaps hang gliding or bungee cord plunking. I often try with little success to perform bungee cord concerts, but the notes all seem to come out the same. Perhaps the hang gliding bungee cord concerts will give me a new perspective on what it really means to be more like my favorite super hero, Eggplant Man. Um… never mind. Erase this one. Besides, I can’t find my flashlight.

#X) It seems that every year, all I really want to improve is my view of the TV. Please move a little more to the east while we’re binge-watching Vikings or other any of those other outer space adventure series.

U*) After much consideration, I’ve decided to finally come to terms with my new illness: Serial Compulsive Recreational Insect Preparatory Tasting (S.C.R.I.P.T.) Disorder. Yes, Preparatory Tasting… all I wanted to do was find out what an insect tastes like before I decide whether to harvest them for our next social gathering. I’ve learned the hard way that most bugs simply are not delicious, and many object to being tasted. For example, stinkbugs secrete a very nasty bad smell ocka pitoo when being being touched by my tasting tongue. And bees and wasps… well, forget about it!! I’m seeking treatment; but each time I visit the S.C.R.I.P.T doctor I have to wait for 12 minutes for her to stop laughing.

And finally…

1!) My real New Year’s Revolution is always pretty much the same: try to do better. Lord knows I still have much to learn, and I truly hope I can remain teachable in this fascinating journey of uncertainty we call Life.

In the meantime, I’d like to wish you all a Very Happy New Year, and may all your nostrils be free of obstructions; especially when you’re sniffing the delicious lasagna I’ll be making on New Year’s Day.

Peace, Love, and Hugs to You All,


Holiday Hanky Panky

Holiday hanky panky… that’s what I’ll call it. It’s a play on words you see… the phrase could be taken as a search for naughty bits during the Holidays, which for me would mean that I’m hoping to get fribbly with my Beautiful Girlfriend; who is also my wife, but I’m not gonna go down that whistle honkler hoochie coochie surprise because I really would like to enjoy some Ho-Ho-Ho-Hanky-Panky with her but that ain’t none of your beeswax and if go into detail of what that might mean and then post it on the interwebs for all the world to see it would greatly lessen the likelihood of any Marital Monkey Business so just never you mind, you won’t be reading about any of that there stuff in this run-on sentence so thank you very much.


OK. So what I really mean is: OK it’s like this you see… yes… um… don’t tell my Beautiful Wife Lady, but I’ve been buying stuff for her for a while now and she doesn’t know it. Ha ha, I laugh of this in a bigly manner! Just call me Sneaky Pete, but I probably won’t answer to that because my name is Ken, but those near and dear to me call me Kenny, so if you call me Sneaky Pete I might smirk at the sound of it but I might also stare off in the distance because I probably will be completely oblivious of the fact that you are referring to me even after I just told to call me that in the beginning of yet another run-on sentence.


It’s kind of fun though. I do some of my shopping online, and stuff often gets dropped off on our steps near the driveway. We don’t use the side door, so even though the UPS man comes and leaves surprises, she rarely notices. That gives me the opportunity to stash things in the garage. She often goes to sleep before me, so I can sneak off to smuggle the goodies up to my office and hide them in the closet. Other smuggling missions involve “accidentally” leaving stuff in the car after coming home a smidge late from work, or perhaps concealing small items in my jacket pockets until the coast is clear.

Am I a rascal or what??

Of course, some of this covert activity is in the interest of resource preservation. Say what?? Well you see it’s like this: we both really like sweet things. We especially love homemade goodies that our friends give us during the holiday season. However, my Glamorous Honey Pie’s sweet tooth has a much stronger craving radar than mine does. If we get something yummy from a friend that we’re supposed to share, if I don’t hide it, there will be a mysterious depletion that occurs when I’m not around. When I forget (or choose not) to hide something, her sweet tooth zeroes in and attacks. Upon noticing the reduction in quantity I make a scientific observation, and I’ll announce my findings thusly: “I think mice have been eating the fudge!!”

Thankfully, I’m pretty much done with my hanky panky gift getting and hiding. And I’m even a tiny bit ahead of schedule!! Here it’s only the Solstice… usually I’m out chasing last minute surprises on Christmas Eve. And yes, I’m hoping to chase the Lovely Love Of My Life Lady around a bit during the Holidays; with the full intention of engaging in that married-people-hanky-panky I alluded to before. But that ain’t none of your beeswax so just never you mind!!

Please, all of you, Have a Happy Merry and a Joyful Wonderful. This time of year always gives me pause to reflect; and there’s one particular movie that makes me gush with emotion. The 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol” has always been very powerful for me; especially the last few scenes. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I spent much of my early life “with no eyes to see, no ears to hear.” Some rather stark life lessons have ushered me out of darkness; and these days I just try to remain teachable. This week’s video is the scene that makes me gush tears of gratitude and happiness. So without further ado…

The Joys (?) Of Airline Travel

My friend Jeff and I were recently invited to attend a department Holiday Party at the corporate office in Pennsylvania. Weeks before the party we brainstormed and thought we agreed on a relatively sane travel plan. After expressing my aversion to getting out of bed before the birds, we decided to take an afternoon flight from Grand Rapids (Michigan) to Detroit; then Detroit to Allentown, PA which involved a layover of a few hours. No problem, we thought, we’d have time to enjoy some dinner and hop back on the plane. Arrived in Pennsylvania late, but on time (10 PM), then got to the hotel by 10:30.

No big deal.

The “fun” began on the return trip, however. We spent the night after the party; to be rested and fresh for the flight home. Slept in a bit and had breakfast, but shortly afterward we got a notification from Delta that our 12:30 PM flight from Allentown, PA back to Detroit would be delayed. Awesome. No big deal, we hung around in the hotel right up till checkout; then headed toward the airport. Returned the rental car, went through security, already had boarding passes on our phones. This gave us time to have a leisurely lunch.

After eating, we sat near the gate; and got another delay notification. Goody!! Now we are leaving at 2:10 PM. Went to the nice lady at the ticket counter to see what was happening. “Oh looks like a maintenance issue, the plane will be repaired and should be here shortly afterward.” OK… Then here comes yet another delay notification. Nice!!! Back to the ticket lady. “Is the plane still coming?” “Oh yes, sorry but it is still going to come.”

Then here comes an announcement that the plane couldn’t be fixed, so a “rescue” plane was being dispatched to cover the flight. Yay!!!! Meanwhile, time is clicking along, and the delayed flight’s arrival time is fast approaching the departure time of the 5:15 flight. Oh wait, here comes the plane now!! Cool!!! Everybody gets on the plane, and of course all of us are worried about our connecting flights. Jeff and I had visited the nice ticket lady several times to see if we needed to change anything, but she said no. Well that was no longer true of course, but much to our amazement she came into the plane after we sat down. She handed each of us a “seat request” ticket for the late flight out of Detroit so we could get back to Grand Rapids.

OK!! We’re in the plane!! Ready to go!! Wait… what?? The Captain made an announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, I truly apologize but we cannot take off because our coffee pot is not secure.” Huh?? “We really do apologize… a maintenance man has been dispatched and is on the way.” Oh boy. We sit. We sit. For about 30 minutes. One of the passengers asks the flight attendant for an update. The Captain comes out again, “I’m sorry folks, but the maintenance man is stuck in traffic but is doing his best to get here.”

So what… the dude lives in New Jersey? Or is “stuck in traffic” actually code for “I just sat down to dinner, then I’ll need a nap” or something?? The young man in front of me (maybe 6 or 7) speaks up for all of us: “just pull the broken coffee pot out for heavens sakes!!” And yes, I’m pretty much quoting him verbatim. Then he goes back to his portable game thing which is beeping and blooping rather audibly.

My legs are getting a bit stiff after the first hour of waiting, so I started bouncing my knees up and down to keep the circulation going. The lady behind me gently taps my shoulder and says, “sir? Are you alright??” “Yes,” I said, “why do you ask?” “We thought you were having a seizure!!” she replied. Then I mentioned why I was bouncing my legs. “Oh, OK!!” she said with relief. After a couple minutes, she tells me, “tell that kid to turn his Gameboy down!!” Well, the boy’s parents sat right next to him. I replied, “ummm, no, I don’t wanna get in the middle of that, thank you!!” ‘

After almost 2 hours, the maintenance man finally entered the plane and was greeted by enthusiastic applause. He had some trouble getting the coffee pot to stay put; and it looked like he managed to finally win; but not without “red tagging” the coffee pot so nobody would use it.

Off we go to Detroit, and when we land, it’s after 9 PM. The gate in which we entered the airport had monitors of course, and the only reference to a flight to Grand Rapids showed that flight had already taken off. I asked the nice Delta Lady, “are there any more flights to Grand Rapids?” “There are none,” she said. “None??” I pleaded. “None,” she replied. Then I looked at our seat request tickets. Flight says it leaves for Grand Rapids at 10:40. I looked at the other set of monitors on the far wall. Yep, there’s a flight for 10:40 PM, and we can make it.


Little did we know, there was yet one more helping of “fun” in store for us. We go to the gate, ask the nice lady for a seat, and she says, “these are standby tickets. I can’t release the seats until 30 minutes before departure.” I wanted to roll on the floor and foam at the mouth, but instead I said calmly, “does it look like we’ll get on??” “Slim chance, but yes, right now it looks OK.”

Not very reassuring.

Hungry, downtrodden, and frustrated, we had about 40 minutes to kill so we went to Chik-Fil-A (the only place open) for something to eat. The young lady behind the counter looked as tired as we were. “We only have 1 and 6,” she blurted out before we could order. Huh?? Oh… OK, I look at the menu and the choices were, 1) a chicken sandwich or 6) nugget things. We both took Door #1.

Now the pre-boarding begins, so after a few lucky souls got on the plane, we hovered in front of the ticket desk again. “May I help you?” the nice lady asked. “Just hoping for standby seats,” I replied. “Oh yes… I got you.” “We need two,” I interjected. “Yes,” she said, “I got you.”  She handed us each a boarding pass and I’m pretty sure she was unaware that I wanted to give her a big giant hug at that moment.

I know that in each phase of our “interesting” journey, the staff all did their best with what was in front of them. However, for some strange reason, I’m not really eager to fly any time soon. On our way out to our cars, Jeff turned to me and said, “which do you think will be more memorable, the party or the flight??”

Thank you Jeff, I needed that.

Could’ve been worse… we could have had gremlins!!

A Matter Of Great Urgency: My Holiday Requirements For 2018

Dearly Beloved Humans,

Here we are again with another Holiday Season already!! Seems like it was just here like a year ago!! And of course, on this silly blog thing, it’s time for me to remind all of you that this is a time of giving; and in this world filled with material madness that seems to place way too much importance on money, toys, and other possessions like candy and even dog toys and treats, I would like to beseech you all to read carefully as I lay down my annual listing of things that I demand from all of you; and I’d like for you to make sure you have enough resources to get me what I want because, after all, if I have to write this silly run-on sentence (or something closely resembling this one) every stinking year to get my point across then hey, as the farmer said to the toaster salesman, “I reckon that’s just the way the crumbs will crumble.”


So without further delay, here is the listing of Holiday Requirements for this year:

A) I’m pretty sure you can all pass around a yogurt container or something and have everyone put an ounce or two of pure 24 Karat gold in it. When it’s full just send it to me either yesterday or the day before. I only want about 490 ounces for starts. This will enable me to buy ice cream pretty much whenever I want; and as we all know that’s very important.

9) OH MY GOD!! Arrrggghhh… could you… could you please scratch the middle of my back?? No… down a little bit… now up…. mmmm yesss!! Thank you!! I was hoping the flea powder would work more quickly but oh well. Thanks again!!

T) I’m often hungry during the wee hours of the night. Therefore, please install the snack conveyor near my bedside as soon as the delivery truck crashes into our firewood pile. Of course, after installation you’ll need to ensure the snacks move along the conveyor and into my waiting mouth place. Make sure you pay close attention to the snack traffic while I’m sleeping, if you don’t mind please. Last time we never did this I had my head stuck in the snackpile for nearly half an hour; and I awoke with many food things sticking to my face. My friends giggled often and called me “Mr. Snacksnarfen” for weeks after that terrible event.

72) One thing I’ve always never wanted is a 10 year service contract with the American Poop Flingers Company (APFC). They do a great job of scooping the kitty litter box every evening. The best part about their service is that huge catapult they use to toss the kitty crap to God Knows Where (GKW). I do remember once though, when I thought I heard the neighbors yelling after a litter box cleaning session. Not sure what they were saying exactly but it was something like, “what the??!!?? Where the HECK is all this cat poop coming from??!!”

And finally…

9G) I need some volunteers to go to work for me each day so I can stay home and enjoy important things like: drinking fizzy liquids and burping, eating in bed while watching TV (the snack conveyor will be very useful for this), and shuffling around in my pajamas all day. You’ll only have to do this for about 14 more months until I retire. I’ll walk you through all the tasks when you get there. Just please don’t call me very often, that would be rather annoying.

But seriously folks…

What I really want for the Holidays is the same old silly saying we hear every year all over the place: “Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Women And Men.” That’s all I really want. Peace on Earth. And I really want people to love and respect each other. We don’t necessarily have to like each other; but we really do need to treat everyone we meet with love and respect. This even goes for those who seem hopelessly terrible inside and out.

One of my favorite descriptions of humanity is: “God doesn’t make junk.” So I take that to mean that God (whoever they are) has presented all of us with a beautiful universe; and we are all a part of it. Therefore, we all deserve to love and to be loved. But what about those “hopelessly terrible” ones? Well a dear friend of mine used to say that “people who are the most unlovable need lovin’ the most.” Quite a challenge, wouldn’t you say?

So that’s all I really want. Peace and kindness. Oh, and of course we need to get better at taking care of Mother Nature.

May I have those please?

Thank You.

For this week’s video… um… well it gave me a chuckle.  Poor Santa…

Christmas Boogers and Spider Milk

Well I suppose it had to happen, probably sooner rather than later. When I asked our grandsons, “hey, what should I right about tonight?” They both replied, pretty much in unison, “boogers!! CHRISTMAS BOOGERS!!” And I confess I have never heard of Christmas Boogers before. Never really even thought too much about boogers during Christmas. But we’re talking about young men here, and they are finding humor in various bodily functions. And boogers, apparently, are high on the list. So to our fine young men, I hereby dedicate this very short poem about

Christmas Boogers

by Ken Hansen

Christmas time is almost here.

A very happy time of year.

My dreams are filled with yummy treats.

Egg nog, cookies, and other sweets.

They’re made with yummy stuff and sugars.

Much tastier than Christmas Boogers.

OK… that’s enough about boogers, thank you!

If you can fathom how surprised I was to hear about Christmas Boogers, imagine how amazed I was to learn about spider milk! Yes, that’s right boys and girls, there really is such a thing as spider milk!! And yes, if you click on spider milk, you can read about this newly discovered aspect of spider parenting. A study recently published in Science magazine describes the discovery that a jumping spider in southeastern Asia actually produces a liquid to feed its young.

Although the “milk” doesn’t contain lactose, which is found in milk produced by mammals, scientists are calling the nutritious liquid “milk.” I find this kind of thing rather mind boggling; but it also verifies what I’ve believed for many years: there is so much in this world about which we have very little understanding. I also strongly believe that we humans need to become much more conscious of all the life forms on this planet we call home. Studies like this reinforce the my strong conviction that animals of all types love and care for their babies.

However, there’s no way I’m going to finish this Happy Friday!!! installment without having a little bit of fun with the idea of spider milk. My hope is that no silly humans start any jumping spider farms. You’d need a very small stool to milk a spider. And you might squish them in the process of milking. Also, I’m not too sure how many people are interested in spider cheese, spider yogurt, or spider half & half for coffee. But I envision a silly conversation between me and the grandsons…

Grandsons: “What’s for dessert tonight, Papa??”

Me: “Well, I’m not sure. I’ve been watching to see if you are enjoying any Christmas Boogers; but haven’t seen any nose mining today.”

Grandsons: “Ha ha!! You just didn’t catch us!! How about some pie??”

Me: “OK, but we’re all out of spider whipping cream, so it will have to be Redi-Whip.”

Grandsons (sounding disappointed): “Oh alright…”

Well it’s that time of year, so let’s see what happened with Pluto’s Christmas tree.

Sexagenarianism, Mastication, and The Underwear Test

Upon first glance, the title of this week’s blog entry might seem a bit naughty. Well please allow me to reassure you: words like sexagenarianism and mastication are just as natural as a deep fried cabbage omelette hovering over a frolicking herd of buffalo wings.

For example, at work last week we had a pot luck; and one nice man said he was bringing “a cabbage salad.” Although there is probably no such thing as a vegetable will not eat, I took the smart alec approach and blurted out, “I can’t eat that, I’m a sexagenarian!!” I went on to explain that my Beautiful Girlfriend and I did a stint as vegetarians (we excluded meats but ate dairy and eggs). We’ve eaten pretty much every vegetable you can think of, and I’ve also grown quite a few. At first, Mr. Cabbage Salad gave a confused grin, then he said, “wait a minute… isn’t that a person who’s in their sixties??”

Yes, by golly that’s right. A sexagenarian is a person whose age is from 60 to 69 years old. Ha ha on you if you thought otherwise!! See how naughty I am?? Maybe I fooled you!! And maybe I didn’t!! And if I didn’t, ha ha on me!! And also, I’m using way too many exclamation points again!! Ha ha!!!

So I got a nice helping of his cabbage salad, then I sat there and masticated right in front of God and everybody!! Again with the exclamation points!! And again I am using words that are in no way naughty, but kinda sound like they might be!! I mean, if I’m masticating in front of God and everybody, doesn’t that make me a public masticator?? Oh Holy Mackerel and pickled foghorns!! That guy is masticating!! In front of God and everybody!! Wait, what?? To masticate means to chew? As in chewing food?? So a public masticator is a person who chews his or her food in front of God and everybody??

Yes. Please don’t clunk me for being so almost naughty with you.

So… I didn’t forget; there’s still this business about the underwear test. Well I read about it in the Old Farmers Almanac today. I’m sure all of you have heard of soiled underwear; and maybe you’ve even soiled a pair or two of undies in your lifetime.   One thing I was never aware of: according to one gardener who wrote in to the Almanac, you can actually test your garden soil with a pair of white cotton undies!!

Yes!! All you need to do is bury the briefs 6 or 8 inches in the soil; then dig them back up again a couple months later. Supposedly, if the underwear decompose (with the exception of the elastic), then your soil is rich with microorganisms and such. In other words, your soil is healthy.

Ummm… well that’s all well and good, but I don’t think I’ll be burying my undies any time soon. With my luck (and partly because I’m a sexagenarian), I’ll forget where they were buried. Then I’ll plant potatoes on top of them and have a very interesting masticastion experience when some of the elastic gets lodged inside one of my potatoes.

No thanks. I’ll keep the undies out of the soil, thank you very much.

Well this week’s video has nothing to do with the story, but since I’m a sexagenarian I had the privilege of growing up watching some of the masters of comedy.  And this, in my professional opinion, is one of their funniest short films.  Without any further ado…


It Just Ain’t Fair

OK, so it’s like this, right?? My Beautiful Girlfriend went to Florida for a week to visit her sister and other family. Therefore, I formulated some grandiose plans of doing some work in the garden, and even though it’s late I was really hoping to get my garlic planted. I was also toying with the idea of stacking a bunch of firewood that was delivered on Tuesday. We store much of our wood in the basement to keep it dry and ready for burning you see.

Mother Nature, however, had other plans. I mean, yes I’m fully aware that climate change is here, and that we can’t expect the weather to behave in a very predictable way much of the time. But several inches of snow this early in November is simply not fair. I mean seriously, I have things to see and people to do!! Or something like that… I did get a little wood in the house before the sky opened up and dumped white stuff on us; so that was a good thing. No gardening though. I was worried that if I ran the rototiller to prepare the garlic bed; the ground would get too cold and it would be pretty much ridiculous to plant.

One thing I completely forgot to do earlier this week: I forgot to throw coat hangers at the sun to force it to do my bidding. This is a tried and never proven method of weather control; but you have to remember to only use metal coat hangers. Metal hangers are essential because they transmit bioelectric brain waves from the person who is tossing them. This of course has absolutely no effect, and may cause a stray hanger or two to become lodged in a tree, only to fall on your noggin the next time a bit wind comes up and then maybe the pointy end will stab you in the nostrils while you’re looking up and if that doesn’t happen you might instead forget to pick it up if it’s in the lawn and then the mower will go KERCLACK!! when it flings the hanger out of the grass chute and then of course it will add insult to injury when the hanger smacks into your car window and makes you want to write ridiculously long run-on sentences.

Hanger flinging at least gives you a way to let off steam, though. Wait!! Maybe I should try steam!! That might warm it up outside!! Yes!! I’ll get a bunch of camp stoves and boil water outside for a few days!! Oh wait… those run on propane. More carbon footprint stuff. More climate change. Sheesh. Never mind.

Well I did get a half bushel of apples chopped up and thrown in the freezer. We’ll keep them there till we’re ready to make applesauce or, even yummier, apple butter. Mmmm I love that stuff. And much of the other outside chores might have gotten done (maybe) ( I don’t know) (but there are too many parentheses now) if I was retired. I’ve often told my Lovely Bride, “work really interferes with my free time.”

That’s OK… only 1 year, 3 months, and 16 days to go till retirement.  Then maybe I need to learn from Grampy and try my hand at inventing some solutions to all these chores…

Bye Bye Baby

Well, my Beautiful Girlfriend’s gonna go visit her sister for a week. All the last minute to-do’s are getting scratched off downstairs as she whirls around to make final preparations. She’s been feeling a bit crappy lately, so there wasn’t much “gettin’ ready zooming” until today. But I’ll be taking her to the airport tomorrow morning and on the way home I’ll try to avoid crashing into November snowflakes (November snowflakes!?!? It’s too early for these stinkin’ snowflakes!!) as I cry my eyeballs out while singing at the top of my lungs a new song I just made up that I’m using a run-on sentence to introduce to all of you who have dared to read this far:

Oh me, oh my, I ain’t gonna cry

My baby’s leavin’ me

Oh me, oh my, bought her tickets to fly

My baby’s leavin’ me

Everything’s gonna be OK

It’s gonna be alright

It’s gonna be OK I say,

I’ll catch her on the return flight

This of course is sung to the tune of “Oh me, oh my, I ain’t gonna cry.”

Or something.

Anyway, I’ll be OK I promise. After all, her sister hit a milestone birthday yesterday, and she wants some Sister Time. Rightly so, my Beautiful Sister-In-Law lives in Southern Florida, which is more than 3.75 miles from West Michigan; so they don’t get to visit in person very often. And believe it or don’t, I’m not even jealous that my Lovely Bride Lady will be enjoying temperatures in the 70s and 80s while I get to enjoy the early arrival of wintry weather here in Beautifully Frigid West Michigan. Yeah… ha ha on us, we Michiganders will be frolicking about in 20s and 30s, and most of us haven’t even gotten our leaves off the ground yet.

Well OK maybe I’m just a tiny bit jealous. After looking at the weather, could be I might actually have to shovel snow!! No fair I say!! It’s too early outside for this crap!!

But of course when the Cat’s away, the Mouse will play… it’s only fair, right? You bet!! And I’m guessing you all know what that means! Yes! Pizza! I think so anyway. Maybe not. I just made a boatload of soup we had for dinner to try to knock my Honey Pie’s coughing-sneezing-sore throat bug in the dirt (we actually seem to be winning). So I’ll have some soup till it’s gone I suppose. Ooooo… maybe a Bad Breath Sandwich or two: sardines in tomato sauce on some caraway rye (with the seeds of course) slathered in mayo and lots of diced onions. Oh my that’s yummy!! Then I come to your house and breathe near your face so you can enjoy my fish breath!

Tomorrow I might do something really crazy and rototill the garden. Depends on how much it’s snowing I suppose. Sheesh, haven’t even planted the garlic yet!! And yes, I think I can still plant if I do it soon. According to what I’ve read, it just needs to be in the ground before the hard freeze comes. Might be able to pull that off… Oh and another wacky time is in store for me: clean and bake the two monster pumpkins that “volunteered” themselves out of the compost pile this past summer. Yeah, we were gonna carve them up for Hallowe’en, but they look good enough to eat, so that’s what’s in store for them. Mmmm… pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, maybe some pumpkin bread. Who knows? I’ll just clean them out, bake them, bag them, and chuck them in the freezer. Oh wow I also need to chop up that half bushel of apples we got from the farmers market before they get rotten.

Oh and not to forget: the firewood people are supposed to deliver sometime this week. They dump it in the driveway so that will keep me busy for a while. And then there’s work… which makes me to barf on the ground… but I’m all out of vacation for this year so I suppose I should show up and do stuff. Those darn employers… they actually expect people to do things for the money they get!!

So I have really nothing much to do.

I’m also looking forward to some alone time. I don’t get that very often. But of course, I’ll miss my Beautiful Best Friend Who Let Me Marry Her Many Years Ago. When that happens, maybe I’ll start singing…

No Time Was Saved

So here we go again, this coming Sunday morning we go back on Standard Time. Well many of us do anyway. I’ve always welcomed the late sunsets that Daylight Savings time brings in the summer; and have often cursed the early ones when we “fall back.” Many times I’d even whine out loud to strangers, whether at a grocery store or gas station. “Why don’t they just spring ahead and leave it alone!?!?” is often exclaimed. Some will also grunt that “we’re the only country that uses this, aren’t we?” And I have to confess, “I’m not sure.”

Well I simply had to look it up. There’s a very interesting map that shows who uses Savings Time and who doesn’t; and you can find it here:

Turns out lots of folks use it. And I’m betting lots of folks whine about the change. I’ll have to admit, though, I really do love that extra hour of sleep in the fall.

Doesn’t feel like any time is actually saved. I mean, yes it gets dark later. But the amount of time in a day is still 24 hours, right? So who’s saving all this time? And if they have some extra, where do they keep it? I want some either yesterday or the day before please.  I mean seriously, May I have some this time that was supposedly saved??

You may have noticed I’m switching gears here a little, but hey, I’m old enough to remember when The Beatles came to the US on the Mayflower. So I’m allowed. I just have a very simple question: where the HECK did all the time go?? Anyhow?? I really do remember when The Beatles first set foot on US soil. We were in our grandparent’s apartment in Brooklyn, NY; and I jokingly told Dad, “hey! The Beatles are in town!! Wanna go see ’em??” And he simultaneously smirked and snarled, “yeah, right!!” It was a definite snarlsmirk.

That happened in 1964, kids!! FIFTY FOUR YEARS AGO!! How come it feels like a couple months ago? Well OK, maybe a couple years. Now I hear there’s a 50th anniversary edition of the White Album being released. Yikes!! Sure, I’m 64 now… but that’s how long my body has been roaming the planet. My spirit is still convinced I’m in my 20s or 30s. But my body slaps me back into reality when I do normal chores like chopping wood or hoeing in the garden. The mind says “GO!” and later the body says, “OK, so now you hurt everywhere. Happy??”

Well yes, I’m happy, but in pain.

Yeah, we’re getting old. I can accept it most of the time… I certainly like it better than NOT getting old. And I’ve learned to embrace and even celebrate the milestones. For example, I’ve asked Santa (or more accurately Mrs. Santa) to put the 50th Anniversary White Album on my wish list for Christmas. Another celebration: this Friday we get to hear Arlo Guthrie perform what’s perhaps his most famous piece of work, “Alice’s Restaurant.” And that’s 51 years old!! Sheesh. Arlo is still making music but he’s not as popular as, say, Adele or Katy Perry or Elton John or whatever. What that means in commercial terms is the ticket prices for his shows are MUCH more reasonable. We even have some very nice seats about 6 rows back from center stage! His music has always been dear to us; so we’re looking forward to a nice evening. We’re driving down to Kalamazoo tomorrow afternoon, getting a room for the night, out to dinner, then to the show. We’ll hit the hay in the hotel after the concert; then get back in time to set the stinkin’ clocks back for that extra hour of shuteye.

Us old farts gotta get our rest ya know.

A dear friend of mine got me a t-shirt awhile back that reads, “I May Be Old But I Got To See All The Cool Bands.” Well lots of them anyway… here are a couple examples. Good times!!

A Funny Hallowe’en Story

Here we are again, the grandsons are at our house, it’s late outside, and cartoons are done. Time for the youngsters to hit the hay, and if the hay doesn’t cry too loudly or hurt too badly, then Ollie and Gabe might be able to get some sleep. The hay may not like being hit you see. Not sure if anyone has ever asked. Anyway… teeth are brushed, grandsons are settled in for the night.

“Good night you guys,” I say to both.

“Will you write us a story?” asked Gabe.

“What should I write about?” I queried.

“Ollie,” said Gabe, “what should Papa write about?”

“Well it’s gonna be Hallowe’en soon…” I offered.

“Yeah,” says Ollie, “write a funny Hallowe’en story.”

Well I don’t know about funny, but I do know how to write very silly things. So here goes:

I think this Hallowe’en should be extra special. Ollie could maybe dress up like a vacuum cleaner, and Gabe could be an electric train set. No… that won’t work; we’d have to have very long power cords so they wouldn’t be able to go very far. Perhaps Gabe could be a corn stalk and Ollie could be a bean pod. Or maybe we could color them both green and they could go as two peas without a pod!!

Or not…

I know!! They could just wear their regular costumes, but we could go trick or treating in that one neighborhood where the only treats you get are pepperoni and venison jerky. I believe that’s in the Upper Peninsula of Italy if I’m not mistaken. On the other hand, we could stay local and when we get to people’s houses we could sing “How Much Is That Turkey In The Window” and ask for drumsticks and wings. We could keep the gravy in our pockets… nothing is more satisfying that dipping a turkey wing in your gravy pocket just before a nice nibbling session.

The new Hallowe’en tradition that never happened is the truly awesome practice of yodeling with a mouthful of chocolate milk. This is done by the full moon while walking between houses during trick or treating. If you are actually able to do this it sounds like a strange gargling noise. Try to keep the chocolate milk in your mouth while you walk, we wouldn’t want the werewolves to slip and slide on the milk trail.

My costume will probably be… um… I dunno… how’s about I dress up like a raisin tree. You know, a tree that is in full bloom with raisins. Yes, I know there’s no such thing as a raisin tree; but walking around makes me hungry and when we go trick or treating I’ll be able to pick the raisins off my costume and eat them with my face and hands.

Finally, when we all get back home we’ll need to dump out your trick or treat bags to count how many pieces of turkey venison pepperoni jerky you get. We’ll also need to make sure that if you get any chocolate by mistake, that I take them and quickly plop them into my gravy pockets so I can munch on them later.

If you don’t like any of these ideas, I suppose we could just go regular trick or treating and just get a bunch of candy and stuff.

But that might be boring.