Perseid Meteor Showers: Snap, Crackle, KABOOM!!

Please do not be frightened, for what I am about to relate is merely cosmic truth that has occurred annually for at least 12 and maybe even 47,000. I just don’t know. But it’s true and that’s all there is to it. OK?? So don’t bother me about this ever again or I’ll start up that dead bug over there. You see that dead bug? Well, to the untrained eye, that bug is dead. But all I need to do is insert these tiny little electrodes in his vinkabules, apply the 3,047 volts from my electric fingernail removal tool, and he’ll be making zucchini bread in no time. And it will be on your conscience for bugging me about all this cosmic truth business. I hope you’re happy now.

So are you ready to receive this information without interrupting the camouflage now? I should hope so.

Just sit back and relax, and be aware that everything you hold dear is in danger of exploding and being zoofled to smithereens. “Of course,” some of you are probably yelling, “he must be talking about the Perseid meteor showers!!” Oh… none of you were yelling that?? Well, maybe you are instead quietly saying, “what’s the deal with this guy… does he eat Legos or something??” Well, for those of you who are saying that, the answer is yes, and my Lower Jaw Lego Chewing Machine is very tired so please be nice.

OK. Back to this horrible cosmic truth I’ve been ranting about. The Perseid meteor shower is an annual occurrence, and this year the best times to look for shooting stars is after midnight on August 11 and 12. Seriously. It happens every year around this time… and some meteors will be visible before and after those days but according to what I’ve read on the interwebs, the peak times are next Friday and Saturday. Look for them to come out of the northeastern sky. You may see as many as two per minute, depending on how many Burger Kings or other light pollution sources you have in your neighborhood. You could always ask them to turn the lights off, but they may not care about any stinking shooting stars. Gotta waste energy to make money, you know. Gotta get that global warming furnace stoked up so my next pair of tennies burst into flames as I stroll down the sidewalk during a heat wave. Thank you very much Mr. Businessman Energy Wasting People Who Leave The Lights On All Stinking Night Long!!

Alright, I’m sorry. I digress. Something I normally never do…

I must now take this time to please ask you to protect yourselves during the meteor showers. Always, always wear a fireproof bathrobe while you’re outside viewing meteor showers. You may also want to flip on the force field to protect your house from the snap, crackle, KABOOM always never happens when an 85 ton meteorite lands on your chimney.  What??  You don’t have a force field???  Ah HAH!  You sold it at the flea market didn’t you??  Have you no science brains?  You won’t catch me out there with no fireproof clothing… And although we don’t have a force field, I have this aluminum bat right here.  Yup, I’m gonna be up on the roof with my modified 55 gallon steel drum overalls, bat in hand, always at the ready.  For a helmet, I modified a nice Revere Ware pot with a pillow stuffed inside. Fireproof Noggin Protection Device. When one of those fireballs puts a bead on my house, I’m gonna take that bat and smack it back into Who Knows Where.  

 I also have a heat resistant meteorite gauge mounted on the fence, right next to my rain gauge.  I want to make sure I know exactly how many inches of meteors we got during the meteor showers.  Actually the meteorite gauge is there for a selfish motive… my Honey Pie didn’t want me to get a force field because she says it’s too expensive.  I guess I’ll have the last laugh when that meteorite gauge is full of smoldering bits in the morning. Right??  Somebody say yes….

Well, hopefully you will all have clear skies and be able to see one of nature’s wonders.  There have been some years when the Perseids have been a very awesome show.  At any rate, I’ll be up on the roof, aluminum bat in hand, hoping to God that we don’t have any lightning.  

Might mess up my hair.

Perhaps a nice trip to Mars after the meteor shower…

Milwort Dendersniffle

Hello Dearest Staplegun Sniffers,

You may be wondering why I would write a story on the interwebs with a title like “Milktoast Dandruffbaskets.” Well, let me assure you that it is NOT Spam. Spam is a mookey, galumpish but nutritious eat thing that comes in a can and is revered by Monty Python.

If you’ve never heard of Ponty Mython, please wiggle wildly with weird wobbly whatchamadingers so I can learn how to write in cursive once again without using Filbert, my pet Crayon, to enlarge the tiger glasses that magnify all but the largest of shampoo bottles.

I would have written sooner, but probably not, because I am writing now and it’s Friday night and our Grand Children Are Here and that of course means they keep us plenty busy and Ollie (the oldest) asked me to write a funny story and I told him “it’s Friday night, so I always write a funny story for my friends” and then he specifically requested I write a silly story for him also and started in trying to remind me of silly story things like “don’t you remember when you wrote about telling someone to eat the kitchen door?” and other things that are ancient history in my brain because I mean hey, I’ve written more than 17 stories over the years and I have difficulty remembering what I had for Taco Salad With Onions And Ketchup Hold The Mayo On A Whole Wheat Cabbage Bowl That Never Existed So Why Oh Why Must I Continue With This Poorly Punctuated, Unnecessarily Capitalized Last Section Of The Run-On Sentence Thing?? Anyway????


Oh… I Can stop that now? OK, thank you.

Yes friends, I’ve had a very week work stressful all the whole week of this past week work time; and now it’s time for the week to end (hence the name, “weekend”) (am I smart or what?) (oh so now we have the superfluous parentheses??) so I can take some time and like, you know, stop worrying about time for at least the present time. Speaking of the present time, have you ever given someone time for a present? All you have to do is spend some with them. You’ll never get the time back but that’s the whole point you see. You are being. With them. Both (or all) of you being at the same time; with each other, existing together in unison while enjoying companionship and perhaps also partying with some nice fluffy marshmallow muffins made with new and improved moisture molecules.

This, I think, is the true meaning of fluffy friendship.

Well as some and /or none of you are aware, my hair is vanishing pretty much every day I think. Some of it’s turning grey and some of it is turning loose. I still plan to grow it longly and donate it until my hair no longer grows out of the little tiny hair volcano that sticks out of the back of my ears. Every 27 milliseconds, the hair lava flows out of my elbows and migrates to the hair brush with soft music playing very loudly at a very high speed. Once the television is planted in the potato bed, be sure to mulch your fingernails with only the highest quality Play Doh. This will ensure that your belt stays fastened securely to the garden tractor for a much more enjoyable paddle boat explosion.

Very well. Did I mention that my job was rather ickety-boo this week? Oh yes, it harmed my brain with very bad clam stink. Now I will resume the rest period, which is entirely too short but I guess that’s how ladies wear their chainsaws these days.

Please remember to eat lots of string for more fiber.

Happy Friday,

Hyram C. Gilmore
a.k.a. “Monkey Head Jones”

Und now it’s thyme for da video thing… I’m thinking some They Might Be Giants…  and then a dose of some Eels. See for yourself by golly…

Adventures In Car Repair

Once upon a time, in a brand new16 year old car, the air conditioning died and the Spoiled Americans who owned the car were very dismayed (especially the American Wife). Because the Spoiled American Husband really enjoyed staying happily married, after many hot summer days (and an upcoming family reunion on the east side of the state) he finally got off his hiney and got the brand new, 2001 Chrysler Town and Country to the Air Conditioning Fixing Guy.

The day of Air Conditioning Fixing came, and the Air Conditioning Fixing Guy called and spoke in very technical jargon: “I can’t fix your air conditioning unless your cooling fan works. Your cooling fan doesn’t work.” Well this sounded a bit fishy to the Spoiled American Husband. But being the (relatively) obedient person he is, he took the brand new 16 year old car to the Normal Car Fixing Guys (who don’t do air conditioning) and said, “the Air Conditioning Fixing Guy says he can’t fix the air conditioning because the cooling fan doesn’t work. Seems to me it’s OK, but would you please check for me?”

The Normal Car Fixing Guy called back: “there’s nothing wrong with your cooling fan. I kinda got into an argument with the Air Conditioning Fixing Guy when I called him, but I’m sure your cooling fan is OK.” So by now you all have probably guessed maybe that I am the Spoiled American Husband Guy so I will save my word count and herewith refer to myself in the first person. That is, of course, unless a second or third person comes to visit and claims to be me, in which case I’ll probably not be able to finish the story for many more minutes.


So I call the ACFG (Air Conditioning Fixing Guy) and say, “well I had my cooling fan checked, it’s OK. But you know, you serviced the air conditioning and replaced the compressor about a year ago, and now it is already broken. For why this is so quickly dead? Is there no warranty on the compressor?” There was some silence on the other end, and the ACFG basically gave the telephone equivalent of a shoulder shrug: “uhh… no… it’s been a year… ummm… no; no warranty.” I paused, and said, “well OK, when can you take another look?” “I’m booked till Monday,” he said. So I told him I would consult with my Beautiful American Wife Person regarding scheduling and get back with him.

Now I am knowing it’s time to do the Google search for a nice, shiny, New Air Conditioning Fixing Guy. I am also getting weary to the point of not with good grammar typing or word usage correct. And also even not caring about it really too!! So I look at the reviews and found that a neighbor of mine was indeed pleased with the service at the New Air Conditioning Fixing Place I found. Atsa nice. OK. So I go there and they check and find a bad compressor. I am now tell them “yes I know, the other Air Conditioning Fixing Guy replaced it about a year ago.” “Didn’t he give you a warranty??” “No,” I said with some harrumphing. “Well,” the Nice Office Lady says, “we give a warranty on all our repairs: 3 years or 36,000 miles.” “I like that warranty a lot,” I retorted. I schedule the repair, we drop the car off Sunday night for the Monday working time, and wonder how, oh HOW CAN WE SURVIVE WITH JUST ONE CAR??? OH GOD OH GOD!!!

Monday comes. More waiting. No call. Here comes the late afternoon. Oy yoy yoy…

Finally the New Air Conditioning Fixing Guy calls me and says, “your compressor is bad. Do you know you need to replace the expansion valve and the dryer unit? Ya, if you don’t do that the compressor won’t last very long.” “Pretty sure the other ACFG didn’t do that,” I replied with a sigh. “No worries, we’ll get you fixed up!!” said the NACFG (New ACFG). “When can you do that?” I asked. “Looks like Wednesday is open.” “OK thanks,” I said obediently. We drop off the car again. Again we are cry of our now having only one car, Oh God OH GOD.

Wednesday is almost gone now. Oh God. They call again… “there’s a part we can’t get till tomorrow morning.” I try hard to conceal my sadness. “OK… will it for sure be done tomorrow?” “Yes, no problem,” the Nice Office Lady replied.

Thursday. Tick tock, tick tock… afternoon arrives. Late afternoon.

Yay, I cheer with Great Impatience Now!!  (I cheer with sadness and worrisome sarcasm.)

The Nice Office Lady finally calls and tells me that the bill will be about $818. Well by now I am rolling in gooey, sticky happy sauce, because the first “fix it” job cost a bit over $600 about a year ago. No warranty. Now I get to enjoy a Brand New Bill from the NACFG for $818. Is that cool or what?? And this amount was prefaced with the following, when the Nice Office Lady at the NACFG place told me, “well, your air conditioning works great on the passenger side; but not so good on the driver’s side.” “I can live with that I think, my Beautiful Wife Person is the one who really needs the air conditioning to work.  But wait,” I hesitated, “can you fix the driver’s side? How much would that run?” She commenced to ciphering, and the new bill was looking like it was gonna exceed $1000.

For air conditioning.

In a 16 year old car.


Uh uh.



“OK,” they said. And when I came in to get the car, the Nice Office Lady went over the details of the VERY NICE WARRANTY (seriously, it was very nice) with me. I thanked them all with great exultation, and on the way home I fiddled intently with the temperature controls and I think… maybe… PERHAPS I may have noticed an improvement of air conditioning on the driver’s side.


I dunno.

So, the moral of the story is: we are spoiled rotten. The brand new, 2001 Chrysler Town And Country will now be cooler inside than it is outside when the summer heat returns. Otherwise, it’s in pretty good shape; comfortable to ride in; and runs great. Nice radio… it even gets AM!! I really love AM radio (but that’s another story). And it’s paid for… no car payments at our house.

Spoiled Americans. That’s what we are.

I think next time I go for the deliciously expensive car repair, I will help them to cipher the bill like Mr. Lou Costello did with his landlord…

Ach Du Lieber!! Das Internet Ist Kaputt!!

Hello Snaybles and Bugtoss Muffins!!

Did you ever survive a day when the internet was broken?!?!? Oh My God!! How can this happen to gentle people like us?? I think there were corgle farbs stuck in the bizzmahooken… after I used 12 toads to reset the ply chowder, NetFlax and TooYube were chibbling along as if nobody ate used food in several decades.

Norgleson Anglefoot told me once that if you throw ethernet cables at a dead possum, not only will the road still stink but the flies will try to invent a new and exciting music streaming service that will prevent even the happiest Carrot Cakes from inducing Elementary Energized Electrolux Egg Flingers to use their newly formed Zinc Toasters for indivisible porpoises; not to mention that one time when all the zucchini fell off the roof (again) and the cat narrowly escaped with his brand new derby hat he never wears to concerts anymore.

I told you not to mention that!!

So this has been the distorted constipation at our house lately. Yes, that’s right friends, Das Internet War Kaputt. For those of you who don’t speak Clambolian, that means: “Jingle Fries!! The Internet Don’t Working!! We Must Use Very Badly The Grammar And Also Capitalize Unnecessarily To Illustrate Our Frustration With This Intolerable Ant Pile Of Dust Mites Who Don’t Even Know I’m Writing About Them And They Probably Don’t Even Care That I Make REALLY Silly Run-On Sentences Because Dust Mites Are So Doggoned Tiny That Even Though I’ve Never Seen One, I’m Probably Seeing Them All The Time!

Or so I’m told.

OK. So the moral of the story, of course, is multiple in nature. In other words, there are multiple morals to this story; which will result in Moral Multiplicity and also very possibly, Repetitious Repeating Of The Fact That There Is More Than One Moral Of The Story, Which Again Is Celebrated With Totally Unnecessary Capitalization.

OK. Here are the Multiple Morals:

A – You can lead a possum to the middle of the road, but it may steal your network cables.

12 – I absolutely refuse to tolerate Dust Mite Ant Piles.

Blue – Jingle Fries will be served cold during Unnecessarily Capitalized Thunderstorms; and of course

@! – You can type nonsense when you don’t know what else to write, and if it makes you laugh while you write it, maybe someone else will laugh also.

The End

“Bark, bark!” said the tree while his dog was sniffing his neighborfeet. Ha ha, it was not the end, but it is now.

I hope.

“And now,” as Mr. Cleese used to say, “for something completely different.”

Leaf Me Alone, I’m Dusting

Ahhh vacation. I love it!! I’ve been looking forward to working my hiney off during my time off from work. Say wha?? Well yes, I’m working my hiney off… well OK not literally, because then it would hurt to sit down and stuff. But you see, I love to grow food, and when a vegetable gardener has grandchildren, sometimes the garden chores don’t get done as consistently as one would like. This is just fine with me, because I’m very aware that although we currently enjoy “rock star” status with them, we are very aware that this will fade as they grow older. That of course means we spend as much time with them as we can.

I’ve been known to complain about how weedy the garden is; and my Beautiful Girlfriend Wife Lady is very tolerant of my whining. She just says, “oh well!!” Then of course I reply, “well work greatly interferes with my free time.” I don’t think she’s gonna let me quit work for a while yet; and I know all too well that it would economically hurt our ability to retire with any peace of mind. The garden, then, becomes a balancing act between normal chores and family stuff.

Fortunately, my Amazing Honey Pie has been kind enough to refrain from making any plans for me this weekend. Well, we both had grandiose plans for our deck. A wonderful fellow cleaned it professionally and we were hoping to stain it. This has been in the works for some time now; but of course Mother Nature doesn’t really care about our plans. We’re hoping the rain quits for a few days in a row so we can get the job done while I’m off (the stain company says the deck should be rain free for at least two days).

So you know what I’m doing, right? Yes!! I’m staying very busy with the Leaf Brigade! What? Never heard of the Leaf Brigade? Well neither have I, because I just made it up. I’ve been busy weeding… chopping many weeds with my hoe, and pulling many others by hand. Some weeds will die after being uprooted. Those I just lay down on the soil. Others, like quack grass, are more stubborn, and go in a bucket so I can let them be sunburned to death on top of the compost pile. After weeding, I water where the weeds were removed and cover with a nice thick layer of leaves for mulch. Those I mentioned earlier, the weeds that die when uprooted, will feed the worms after I lay the mulch down. And of course the worms will poop in the soil and that feeds the plants.

Yep, the plants really love worm poop. How do I know this? I ask them of course. “How ya doin’ today, Corn?” “Doin’ good Ken… had a nice bowl of worm poop for breakfast.” Well OK maybe they don’t really say that.

Well I got the corn and the potatoes weeded and mulched; now it’s time to attack the beds in the middle of the garden. There I foolishly let the weeds get at least as big as the plants. These are beds that have somewhat thick plantings of strange things like radishes and carrots. Another bed has kale, turnips, and lettuce. And yet another has lettuce brussel sprouts and pak choi. Anyway, they all look like a miniature forest of weeds and food plants. Rather than replant everything (although some of it may be), I water first, then carefully remove the weeds. After the weeds are pulled, it’s time to sprinkle the leaf dust for mulch.

Do what now??

Yes friends, I made leaf dust today. Wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last. You see, I’m one of those weirdos who uses leaves all over the place in the garden. I literally take a lawn mower and mow the leaf pile to grind them up. Then I sift the chopped leaves dust through a sifter I made that sits on top of the wheelbarrow.  I like to share pictures of this stuff, so click each picture for a better view if you’re so inclined.

Sifter I build all by myself!

Leaf Dust!

The end result: Leaf Dust! Delicious with milk and sugar and a few slices of banana on top. NO!! It’s for the plants; where it’s too crazy to try to place mulch between the many tiny food plants. If I don’t weed, I ain’t a gonna get no food. And if I don’t mulch, same as it is now, I’ll get lots and LOTS of weeds.

Weeds are OK, but all those veggie plants are a bit more delicious. Don’t you agree?

Well, at least I don’t have the same garden problems as Porky Pig…

Oil And Mowers Don’t Mix

Once upon a time, like this evening, I thought it would be really cool to replace the belts on the mower deck of our brand new 2002 Cub Cadet lawn tractor. Seemed simple enough… “Oh and while I’m at it I might as well change the oil,” I said to myself. Another seemingly simple task.

Well, a mechanic I’m not; and in the realm of garden tractors I’m thinking I have the know-how of a choo choo truck with no interior antibodies. Huh?? Let’s put it this way: I seem to have an affinity for learning things the hard way when it comes to anything with an internal combustion engine.

OK, I’m shaming myself. As you may have guessed by now, things didn’t turn out quite like I planned. I got the mower belts changed without too much difficulty; although it was a whole lot easier getting the deck off the tractor than it was to put it back on. Then for the oil. I looked here and there, and found no evidence of where the oil drain might be. “Oh wait,” I thought, “there’s a thingy with a cap off of it that might be a drainer doodad. Looks like the cap’s been off for a loooong time…

So being the thoroughly modern ignoramus I am, I got on the interwebs and found that the thingy with the cap off was indeed the drainer doodad (please forgive my technical jargon). I tried to follow the instructions: push in slightly and turn counterclockwise to drain the oil.

Well because the drainer doodad was totally gunkified, I couldn’t push in, so I turned counterclockwise and the whole darn thing came off. Now the oil is draining into the tub I have waiting below. Cool, so far. I thought. Then… OH PEEGLESNURGE!! IT’S RUNNING ALL OVER THE POWER TAKE OFF!! I made quick with the rags, but to no avail. Big mess. I did get the gunk out of the drainer doodad so I can use the thingy with the cap next time. But this was this time, and I tried to clean up everything the best I could.

OK… after much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but without throwing any tools or biting my wife’s head off, although I did ask her to quit asking me questions, like “will it start now? Did you get it? Is it going to run?” because after she asked me several of these I would run around the house screaming and crying because of the mess I made and I’m feeling pretty dumb and I didn’t want to make my Beautiful Honey Pie sad by barking at her when she was just wondering how things were coming but holy gazzamoopa I was getting really frustrated and I finally, FINALLY after much finger ouch and crawly grunty times I got it all back together and now it’s time to try the mower and wow by golly it works great but something’s wrong besides this run-on sentence you see because the tractor ain’t cruising so good so WHAT THE HECK IS THE DEAL NOW??

“Oh poop,” I recalled, “I must have oiled the pulleys.”

So now the belt thingy that runs the hydrostatic transmission whatchamahinger is oiled nicely; which of course means it ain’t gonna have much power because it be a-slippin’ all the stinkin’ time. Is that cool or what?? NO!! THAT IS NOT COOL!! So what did I do? I did what any almost-a-mechanic-guy would do: I got out my floor jack and jacked up the hiney of the tractor so I could see what the deal was and A) yes there was oil where it shouldn’t be and 34) the belt should probably have been replaced many moons ago which I think needs to happen at the dealer. Otherwise, I’m a gonna need me a tractor tutor.

I could have avoided all this cockamamie flerping around by not trying to do stuff for which I’m not really well trained. The folks at the Cub Cadet service house would have made some grocery money from me and my tractor would actually do what it’s supposed to do. As it stands now, we should be able to mow… works OK on a flat surface. Gets a little wimpy trying to go up hill though… The old Cub Cadet needs to go to the doctor soon. A real doctor that is… And of course, you probably know what I told my Most Wonderfully Attractive Wife person after all this, right??

“I want ice cream.”

Guess I could take it to these guys…

How Now, Chocolate Cow??

My Beautiful Girlfriend and I were talking about Cousin John today, and how we miss the guy. He was Brooklyn (NY) born and raised, and he and his mom (Aunt Joyce) would come visit with us when we were kids on Long Island. Many moons and a couple moves later, John and I reconnected in a very big way; and the same became true for Aunt Joyce. So what does all this have to do with a chocolate cow? Well I think both of them would react to the next part of this story would be an emphatic, yet puzzled “Oh my Gawd!!”

I was both amused and saddened this past week when I heard of the following story. Apparently, a thousand people were surveyed recently and 7 % of the people believed that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Oh my Gawd!! I wish I was fooling you!! This of course has spread across the pond via the interwebs and now much of the world probably thinks we are a nation of noodleheads.

Now I don’t know what sample of our population was surveyed; but you can bet it wasn’t anyone involved in agriculture. Unfortunately, however, there appears to be an increasing disconnect between the knowledge of what foods are at the store in various packages and how they are produced. Perhaps this is due to the declining number of people directly involved with agriculture.

I’ve actually had some interesting (saddening?) first-hand experiences with this. I’ve been an organic gardener for over 40 years now; and I often grow more than I need. I often grow more than I need, and like to share some of my harvests with friends when I get a good surplus. One time I remember vividly was when I asked a friend if they’d like some of my heirloom, organically grown popcorn. “Sure,” they said, “where did you get it?” “From my garden,” I explained. “Oh,” they answered, wide-eyed, “I didn’t know you could grow popcorn!! How did you grow it??” “Well,” I replied, trying not to giggle, “I stick the seeds in the ground and they grow popcorn plants.” Then I couldn’t help but ask, “where did you think popcorn came from?”

Anyway, when I was trying to figure what to write about for this week’s Happy Friday!!! I thought that would be a good place to start.

Now, to finish off, here are some fun facts of my very own which may or may not be true but I’ll put them here anyway for the fun of it and you know it’s been a very long time since I composed a run-on sentence but I figured it was long past due and I didn’t even use any commas or semi-colons and if you can read all this in one big breath I’ll give you a quarter!!

So here we are… some spillages from my brain area:

1: At least 50% of all ladybugs are not ladies. However, I think it’s good to keep calling all of them ladybugs, because one might be accused of sectional harshment if you said something like, “hey everyone!! Look at this cool manbug!!”

R: Eggplants do not produce eggs. Heck, the fruit doesn’t even look like eggs. And it sure doesn’t taste like eggs neither. So, like, what’s up with the name? Anyhow??

27: Now we come to another totally silly name for a food: grapefruit. Does anyone seriously think those look like grapes? Or taste anything like grapes?? Last I knew, they didn’t grow on grapefruit vines neither. Sheesh!! So if we ship many of them to market at the same time, is that considered grapefruit group freight?

OK, that’s probably enough for now. Oh wait… an old favorite:

I’ve never seen a purple cow,

I never hope to see one.

But from the milk we’re getting now,

There must quite surely be one.

Maybe we should all go hang out at Betty Boop’s farm for a “reality” check!

A Crappy Conversation

I’ve come to a terribly harsh conclusion: my Beautiful Girlfriend and I are getting older. This of course may seem like a no brainer… I mean I’ve already enjoyed 63 trips around the sun; and next week my Lovely Bride will be able to boast the same thing. So yeah, we’re getting older.

Remember how Grandma and Grandpa used to gross you out when you were a kid? No, not them personally (I hope), I mean some of their conversations. Many of you have probably endured the dubious privilege of overhearing them discussing all the really neat things that come with an aging body: wrinkles, hair loss (men especially), false teeth, and the worst conversation topic of all: bodily functions.

Well, I never thought I’d hear myself say it, but my wife and I have stepped up to the plate with this old people stereotype and discussed poop and pee today. And it didn’t even gross us out! In fact, we were laughing through much of it. Some of the discourse involved “anomalies…” you know, cool things like constipation. Next was the need to pee 145 times a day… or maybe thinking you need to but can’t.

The intrigue shifted gears a bit when something came to mind. I told my Sweet Honey Pie, “you know I haven’t gotten a bill for my Cologuard yet.” For those who are unaware, Cologuard is a test for colon cancer. You see (I’m talking to youse kids now…) when you turn 50, your doctor will recommend you get a colonoscopy to make sure you don’t have colon cancer. It’s a very enjoyable procedure where they knock you on your hiney (so to speak) with a big dose of demerol and then they shove a gigantic garden hose with a TV camera on the end into your nether regions. Actually, the most enjoyable part of the procedure is the prep you have to do before you go to the Garden Hose Hiney House. Oh yes, it’s great fun. You drink a special tonic that makes you wish you never had intestines. Have some, then be very close to the toilet because you’re gonna need it!! All this so the medical folks can look at your colon without any crappy obstructions.

Oh wait… Cologuard… right, we didn’t get a bill. Well you see, it’s like this: I was 52 when I got my colonoscopy, and I was really glad my Lovely Lady was with me. That’s because after the procedure was done; I wouldn’t wake up. In fact, I decided not to breathe very much. Seven times a minute is not enough for good health really. She yelled to the nurses, “um… he’s not breathing.” They shrugged it off at first, saying the demerol would wear off soon. At that point my Baby Cakes (who also happens to be a nurse) spoke a bit more assertively. “He’s not breathing!! His lips are turning blue!!” “Oh,” they said, and gave me some narcan; which has been in the news a bit lately. Narcan reverses the effects of narcotics, and its role in news reports has been the use of it to help junkies survive an overdose. So, it turns out I’m allergic to demerol; or at least the amount they gave me. My Dear Darling had some other complications that resulted in her colonoscopy being stopped before they could determine anything. Then, unfortunately, she had to undergo a barium enema; which is even MORE fun that the colonoscopy. Neither of us wanted to enjoy those happy crappy times ever again.

So yeah, OK, Cologuard!! Time to talk more about poop!! Yay!! Both of us had negative results for colon cancer, which was a very good thing. Another very good thing is Cologuard, which is a test that involves sending a stool sample to a lab for testing. Just to be clear, in case youse kids (youngsters) aren’t aware, a stool sample is not a hunk lopped off of a chair with no back. No no, you get to poop in a bucket and ship it via UPS to the lab. Is that crappy or what?? It’s very effective, and much less invasive than a colonoscopy or barium enema. Way cheaper too. But our insurance company, to which we affectionately refer as the Blue (I Don’t) Care Network, is too stinkin’ cheap to pay more than a pittance for the test; which leaves us holding the bag for the rest. Even though Medicare and lots of other private insurance companies pay, BCN does not. Is that awesome or what? Doesn’t’ matter, we’re blessed with the ability to pay our share. We’d much rather pay than have those crappy barium garden hose TV enema cameras shoved up our poopenheimers. Cologuard is recommended every 3 years; by which time Medicare will be our insurance provider.

I know this all sounds like a pretty crappy conversation, but if you’re near the same age as us, you’ve probably had a similar discussion at one time or other. If you’re near my age and try to tell me you haven’t; well, I’m not sure I’d believe you. And if you are younger than us and are absolutely sure you won’t talk about such things when you get old, I laugh to you.

You’ll find out.

In the meantime, Betty Boop will sell you some tonic that will cure all ills…

Nonsensical Stress Filters

Dear Ninks and Semmerflubens,

I am writing to all of you from the back yard where no children are stuffing bread into the worm holes. This week has been especially stressful at work, and a lot has been going on in the news. Therefore, in the interest of clam flavored desserts, I feel the need to remove my corporate tortellini. Those of you who know me are aware that some stressfully sprinkled donuts prompt me to write letters to fire hydrants.

Let this past century of my work week be no Oldsmobile to that incubation.

I was walking through the factory the other day, scowling inside my rib cage and doing my darndest to ignore all the noisy dirt. Soon I found myself saying, “hey Self! For why you are so poofely?? Don’t you agree that your employment status brings gas to your table and puts food in your car? Are you not, indeed, a very fortunate person who no longer requires adult supervision at most Twinkie eating contests?? And c’mon man! Get with the gratitude awreddy.”

My Self agreed that grouch makes ouch. I decided I really ought not allow this job to remove my ventricles or extinguish my lapis lazuli.

The following morning, I smiled and decided not to be El Groucho inside my brain world any longer. At least not for 27 minutes, then I could reevaluate and perhaps even continue another 14 milliseconds. By golly, that may have actually worked. I tried hard to not take work too poisonously. Sure, since my friend Reebo has retired and I inherited an extra work load my job has become inflamed with large pickles that fly violently in all directions. And yes, there is really no way to keep up with the demand, unless I find a way to successfully clone my onion rings before Hubert The Closet Painter arrives from Denderflaven. If he gets here before the sauerkraut capsules are fully declawed, there is absolutely no guarantee of the existence of any newly sharpened Jell-O forks.

And we all know what that means!!

So, I’ve decided to just be happy until I feel grouchy again, which seems to come quickly when people at work allow their children to surf the web on their work computer, and then they come crying to me because they can’t get their computer to do anything except offer to fix horrible computer problems that don’t exist, and then I get to spend many minutes trying to kill the bugs when all they had to do was forget to allow their kids to surf the web with their work computer, and then I end up blasting the hard drive anyway so I can write run-on sentences with increased vigor and lengthy applesauce.

After all of that new grouchiness, I start my day over again with a new happy and grateful attitude. Then I get grouchy once more, but a little less, and keep practicing the gratitude thing. Then I go between buildings and sing happy songs like:

Leave me alone or I’ll bite you

Your ears are made of sticks

Why do you talk to ME like that

I’ll send you cat logs in the mail.

This of course is sung to the tune of “Leave Me Alone Or I’ll Bite You.”

Finally, and least palatable, is what seems to be an attitude of “Hooray for Me and to Hell with YOU” in our nation of freely expressive greedy stinkbottoms. I mean hey, I’m very grateful we live in a free country and hey, you know, when it comes right down to it, most of us are spoiled Americans compared to many folks on this planet. You know, hey? It’s just um… what troubles me, is um… you know, like um… wait a minute, let me hold my smellphone and text someone while you’re trying to talk to me and um… you know, this “America First” stuff seems to be causing a lot of resentment in the world and last time I checked, if a person is silly enough to proclaim himself King Of The Mountain then someone is gonna want to knock them down off the top of that mountain with a giant Tootsie Roll or something much more explosive.

Greed is harming all of us; and it ain’t no good for Mother Nature neither. We Americans don’t own this planet, although we seem to act like the whole thing is ours. These things make me become very figgy and bickety-boo! So then I start getting more with the Grouch Ouch, and I want to go bite a bark flavored tricycle!!

Then I laugh at my silliness and life is once again refreshing and full of new opportunities to enjoy fruit and perhaps even the occasional flying insect.

Sometimes I restart my day 479 times or more.

So, how was YOUR week?

Pray for our Planet. Think Globally, Act Locally. Please??

The Aheader I Go, The Behinder I Get

What the HECK is going on here?? I mean, the day before yesterday it was snowing; and now it’s almost June awreddy and I’m just now getting ready to put seeds in the garden!! I’m sorry but time seems to be flying faster than ever, and I really don’t think it’s fair!  I’m thinking there must be some type of time warp going on…

Our daughter will be 40 this year!! And our son will be 35!!  Sheesh!! And our daughter and her awesome husband have two boys who are 8 and 4 years old. They were babies just a few days ago!! WHAT IS GOING ON??? Very soon after our daughter and son-in-law had their first kid, I warned them that they will soon notice something very strange: time will vanish much more quickly with each passing day.

Or at least it sure seems to go fast. As a friend of mine once told me, “you know what the frogs say… ‘time’s fun when you’re having flies!!’ “

Well this time zooming stuff is exactly what happening to me and my lovely bride. Don’t get me wrong, we know we’re getting older; and for that very reason we treasure each day we are on the planet. We kinda like it here! 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. And Holy Cow, we’re grandparents!! We were just dating a couple years ago!!

I mean hey, I remember vividly when the Beatles first came to America on the Mayflower like 5 or 6 years ago! Or something… Anyway, I really do remember sitting in my grandparents’ apartment in Brooklyn, NY when I was just short of 10 years old. 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.

I’m not 10 anymore. I’m 63!! How is this possible?? And I really want to retire when I’m 66. When you were a kid, do you ever remember wanting to be 66? Well I’m there, man!! I want to be done with this working stuff. Oh well, only 2 years, 9 months, and 5 days to go (I have a countdown thingy on my work computer). But being an old fart isn’t so bad… I get to be a grandpa!

One cool thing about being a grandpa is that you get to reflect on all the changes that have happened over the years. Any of you who are old like me understand that life is exactly the same as when we were younger, only completely different. 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. Although TV was on the rise, there were still dramas and comedies being made for and played on the radio. And when you turned on either a radio or a TV, you had to wait a few minutes for them to warm up. That’s because the tubes and their associated circuits had to stabilize. Tubes?? Say what?? Yes, tubes. And even after the radio or TV warmed up you often 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 ride to work. We heat with sticks (we have wood heat), so in the colder months 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 the fancy Igloo cooler my friend Jeff got me for two bucks at a yard sale.

Pour the coffee into the travel mug, grab the cell phone, and head for the garage at precisely 6:54 a.m.

Situate my lunch on the passenger seat, stick my coffee mug into the cup holder, come around to the driver’s seat and turn on the car.

THE CLOCK NOW SAYS 7:03 A.M. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! There is NO WAY it takes me 9 minutes to walk from my back door to the garage. And yes, the car’s clock is correct; just like the clock inside. I’m pretty anal about that.

Time warp I tell ya!!

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. Even if you don’t, you’re gonna get old like me some day.

You’ll see…