Paddy Not Patty

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. I say that to those who love the holiday; but for me it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. That’s because even though I’m a wee bit Irish; I’m ½ Norwegian. And there’s that documentary I saw on PBS awhile back that illustrated the history behind the red hair and freckles with which many Irish folks are born. It’s from those naughty Vikings, you see. It’s possible that my Norwegian (Viking) ancestors raped and pillaged my Irish ancestors; thereby scattering their red haired, freckled, Viking genes hither and yon. The thought of all that has really taken the wind out of any sails I may have unfurled on the Good Ship St. Paddy’s Day.

Ha ha, I almost said “… the red hair and freckles that many Irish folks are born with.” I actually typed it that way initially. I fixed it though, because just like this St. Paddy’s day stuff I’ve been seeing lately, I’ve learned that type of word usage just plain ain’t correct: a preposition is a word you are not supposed to end a sentence with. Ha ha, I did it just now, because I wanted to, and if you don’t like it please take an eraser to your screen and see if you can fix that for me please; be careful you don’t harm your screen though; and you know what… I think this may be the first run-on sentence I’ve written in awhile and yes I’m fully aware that I bend the grammar and punctuation rules when I do it; but I’m also pretty darn SURE it’s the first one I’ve ever written in italics with a sprinkling of bold; but I have yet to write any portion of a run-on sentence in bold, italic, and underlined text; at least until today.

So there I was, 10,000 feet in the air, no plane, no parachute, just floating about and when I came back down I noticed a sign that said, “St. Paddy’s Day…” something or other. Not sure what else it said besides the “St. Paddy’s Day,” but that part stuck in my headbone. So then I took my headbone to the Google Place and plunked in “St. Paddy’s Day.” And you know what I found?? The Irish very much dislike the use of “St. Patty’s Day.”

What… youse don’t believe me? Really!! I’m telling you, it’s supposed to be written “St. Paddy’s Day.” I never knew. So you say you’ve seen “St. Patty’s Day” with your own eyes?? Well, as the great Chico Marx once proclaimed, “who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes??” So like, if youse kids don’t believe me, hopefully you will believe the Irish. They tell us yankees all about it right here:

http://paddynotpatty.com/

So there, nyaa nyaa na boo boo!! OK so like I was saying earlier… I honor the honoring (can you honor someone’s honoring?? I just don’t know) of March 17, which I just read is the traditional date of death of Ireland’s patron saint somewhere around the year 461. From what I’ve read, it started out as a feast with lots of spiritual significance, but these days many folks seem to use it as a great excuse to party. Big business you know. Couple weeks before there are lots of green beads, hats, and all kinds of trinkets to wear or hang on your body. And this year it’s happening on a Friday; so I’m guessing there will be some Holy Mackerel Headaches tomorrow with folks being a little green around the gills without the aid of any Irish green adornments on their bodies.

My Beautiful Girlfriend and I have been “celebrating” with Reuben sandwiches for the last several years. We rarely eat corned beef; which is a very good thing when you consider all the chemicals in that stuff. But once in awhile a Reuben really calls my Honey Pie’s name… so I play along. Not my favorite, to be honest. Today ours came from a local haunt called Mango’s; which we thought we’d try for a change. Usually they are known for pretty good grub. They failed the Reuben test though, and as we were a few bites into our sandwiches both of us found ourselves wishing we had stuck with Arby’s. Is that weird or what?? Never thought I’d prefer a product from a fast food joint over a local joint. Arby’s would have been WAY cheaper too. Oh well. Supported our local economy.

Well enough rambling. Hope all of you had a Happy St. Paddy’s Day; assuming of course you wanted one. We were happy to stay home and chill.

Speaking of Chico Marx… Say huh?? Yes, remember I mentioned “the great Chico Marx” back there? Well here’s one of my favorite Marx Brothers routines from their movie “Duck Soup.” Absolutely nothing to do with St. Paddy’s day, but there’s that totally cool remark:

“Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes??”

And of course what followed was the famous “Mirror Scene.”

Another Day Older

My belly button and I celebrated another birthday recently. I think the rest of my body got older also… Don’t worry, everything still works. In fact, things may even be improving somewhat… at least in some respects. Life is pretty darn good. However, since I’ve been an official member of the AARP for awhile now, I’d like to share a few observations I’ve made about this “getting older” business:

Some down sides:

1) The hair in my ears, nose, and eyebrows grows better than the hair on my head. I figure if I lose too much more of my mop, I’ll just let all the other stuff grow out and comb it over. Anyone for styled eyebrows??

Q) My body stores fat more readily than ever before. I’m beginning to believe that all I really have to do is LOOK at food and I will gain ten pounds. Unless, of course, I’m looking at celery or carrots; they don’t fatten me. But it seems to take 430 days of drinking 34 glasses of water a day and eating nothing but bunny food to effect the loss of 1/2 pound or so. Unless I exercise. If I run 27 miles before I have breakfast, I might be able to lose another 0.001 pound.

9) I am older than many of the people I see at work! This has never happened to me before. They don’t seem to mind, though. Folks just humor me when I reminisce about when the Beatles came over on the Mayflower and stuff like that. “Remember the race riots in ’67? Oh, you weren’t born yet? Ok, you, shut up and go away. Wait… you gonna eat that Twinkie??”

F) The “good old days” consisted of obsolete technology. I’m not talking IBM 8088 computers or “new” calculators that would actually do a square root and only cost $60; either. I’m talking Univac, a huge computer built with vacuum tubes, and watching my favorite TV programs in glorious Black and White, because that’s all there was. Radios and TV sets all had tubes in them, and you had to wait 30 seconds for them to warm up before getting anything. Oh, and not to forget record players. Man, I’m getting ancient here!

But believe it or don’t, there really are some positive things about this aging business:

A) I don’t have the emotional roller coaster I used to ride around on all the time. Man, growing up was the pits!! Well, OK, not all the time. There was quite a bit of fun along the way. However, don’t know about you folks, but this boy sure spent way too much time weeping and gnashing his teeth. These days, I try to be grateful and count my blessings instead of whining and numbering all my troubles. Works most of the time. And I have more patience than I’ve ever had…

Take driving, for example. Used to be a daily thing for me to get totally ticked off at idiot drivers. Someone would cut me off, right? So I’d get an adrenaline rush, and catch up to them to yell something like this: “Hey Chicken Lips! Examine my angry red face while I display one of my more memorable fingers to your eye things! You have no brain! I question your ancestral heritage! I believe you are a bark eater!” All the while, my skin would be crawling with adrenaline goose bumps, and that funny taste would linger in the back of my mouth. I didn’t really like the feeling, but it took quite awhile for me to put it all into perspective. Nowadays, if a stinky-face driving person does me some dirt, I mutter something like, “oh thank you, Flavorhead. See you in the obituaries.” They never get to see me lose my temper, and with any luck, I never see them again, anyway. This is probably a good thing, because you just never know who might have a bazooka or something lying next to them on the driver’s seat.

12) My wife and I still chase each other, and it’s better than ever! Except for that one time she wanted to invite that camel over for pizza and fake wine (maybe that was a dream).

C5) I make more money than I ever have before. Well, ok, I spend more money than I ever have before, too. In fact thanks to Visa Money Bucket Plastic Land, I can spend money I don’t have. But what the heck, my Mom and Dad didn’t leave me anything, so the least I can do is return the favor for my kids.

Perhaps the biggest bonus I’ve acquired along the path of this journey we call life is peace of mind. I’ve learned (albeit sometimes the hard way) to use a few coping skills that have helped me mellow out quite a bit. Like my reaction to change, for example. I’m not really fond of Dennis Miller’s brand of humor, but he said a pretty neat thing awhile ago: “Life is like riding the bus. It requires change.” Lots of stuff changing at work. At home too. And in the news?? Forget about it awreddy!! Stuff that used to make my brain explode now simply seems like an annoying little fly to be swatted out of my face. What’s that expression…? Don’t sweat the petty things. Or is that don’t pet the sweaty things?? You know, those two rules for stress management: 1) don’t sweat the small stuff, and 2) everything is small stuff.

It reminds me of a poem… maybe because I made it up:

Das Bizzyvink

by Me, the Person

The stress tried to kill me, but right now it’s gone.

I mowed all the garbage and dumped out the lawn.

Drove backwards to work, it’s a new way to say,

“Hey all of you ninnies, get out of my way!”

When stress is a color, it’s probably red.

It burns up my innards and blushes my head.

It’s much better just to chill out, you see,

So there’s not too much STRESS and too little of ME.

Ya shoor, in my head there arose such a clatter,

From stressing about things that really don’t matter.

But these days I’m much better, if you don’t mind my saying.

More fun I am having, more games I am playing.

Well, I’m hoping to take stuff less seriously now.

I’ve been here before, so I think I know how.

I’ll try to stay happy and whistle while working.

More “Happy Joy Joy,” and less “You are a Jerk”-ing.

Well, this is me leaving now. Hope all of you had a nice time on my belly button’s birthday. And as I’ve often said, please remember that it’s better to be you than for you to be me, and that although you can count to 8, “eight” is a word.

Hoping to retire in a couple years.  Maybe I’ll take a part time gig with The Old Man Of The Mountain…

Ready, Set… PIZZA!!!

Ahhh Friday… my favorite workday of the week. That is, of course, when I have both Saturday and Sunday off; which is most of the time. This Friday is a little different though, because my Beautiful Girlfriend went off with her Beautiful Friends to a (Beautiful) Women’s Retreat over in Newaygo Town.

“I’m a bachelor this weekend,” I my friends at work. Russ and Breck’s eyes both lit up and they quizzed me: “Really?? What’re you gonna do??” “I’m gonna eat massive amounts of cholesterol!!” I exclaimed with a big grin. Then I described the pizza I was lusting to make for dinner.

I didn’t bore everyone with the details, but I thought I’d put them here for your enjoyment.

Delicious Easy Pizza Method

1 – Boboli pizza crust… before I put it on a pizza pan I sprinkle a little corn meal to coat the pan sparingly but evenly. Keeps the pizza crust from sticking to the pan you see… Then put the crust on the pan and add, in order, the following:

a few sprinkles of coarse garlic powder

a few sprinkles of oregano

1 – 4 oz. jar of Classico pizza sauce (one jar is more than enough… had a little left over)

4 oz. of fresh sliced mushrooms, broken into small hunks

Fresh mild Italian sausage, cooked ahead of time over the wood fire (we have a fireplace)

½ green pepper, diced

1 small yellow onion, diced

4 oz. (or so) of black olives, crumbled (I take whole, pitted olives and smoosh them up with my fingers)

Premium pepperoni yummy slices, diced; sprinkled over the entire pie.

Sprinkle a smidge over 1 oz. shredded parmesan cheese

Sprinkle about 6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions on the Boboli crust package say to preheat the oven to 450 but I’m a rebel.  I preheated the oven to 350, then goosed it to 425 when I put the pie in there.  Cooked for about 10 minutes and turned the heat off. After the cheese melted and started to tan; I let it set for a couple more minutes then took it out and sliced it up; at which point I grabbed a hunk and proceeded to stuff my face. Total time from beginning to end was almost an hour, but oh my it was certainly worth it.

Then back in the warm oven it goes with the heat off so the flavors can mingle a little longer. I may accidentally have some more later.

Oh yes my friends, I’m in party mode tonight. Oh and I accidentally snarfed a bag of Cheetos while waiting for the pizza to cook. Oh yeah, I almost forgot the Cherry Coke I discovered at the gas station they let me buy with the Cheetos and the Reese’s crunchy chocolate bar thing and Peanut M&Ms (those are for a friend at work, I promise) (unless I eat them) (I’m not sure).

I’ve been having a grand old time burping loudly and not even saying “excuse me!” Later on, I might even treat myself to a Marx Brothers movie!! And why not, my Beautiful Girlfriend and her Beautiful Friends are about 28 miles away and they can’t stop me!! Nyaa nyaa na boo boo!!

This kind of partying is far superior to the kind I once… um.. enjoyed? I say, “enjoyed?” with a question mark because there were all too many times I was ingesting intoxicants under the premise of having fun, when in fact I was really harming myself. So all that youthful partying began with fun, then fun became mixed with poor choices; which of course produced problems.  The last portion of my journey into mind altered oblivion transformed into even worse choices; so that part of the ride was anything but fun. I truthfully do NOT miss those times. Life is very good these days, so my cholesterol party is more than enough enjoyment for me.

Looks like I have a couple days worth of pizza; and I’m not complaining! Holy Cholesterol, Batman!!

Several rock stars have had a similar partying journey, many are dead. Most of the ones who survived, however, have changed their ways; and one guy by the name of Richard Starkey is a favorite of mine. His stage name is Ringo Starr, and he had some fun with part of his story in a catchy little tune known as “The No No Song.”

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

A horribly beautiful, terrible but remarkable, and yet pretty amazing thing happened last week: our water heater died. One may well ask, “how can the death of a water heater conjure so many adjectives in one sentence?” Of course, one (or even two) may not ask that at all. I mean who really cares, right? Water heaters croak… new ones are only guaranteed for 6 years and are expected to last for maybe 10 to 15 years.

So what’s the big deal? Well, we knew our 80 gallon Hotpoint water heater was old when we bought the house way back in 1982. This was when dinosaurs roamed the earth and people communicated over long distances with tin cans connected with string. What we didn’t know until this past Monday was that our trusty old water heater was built in 1952!!! I mean, this thing was born before us!! Sixty-five years ago!! I told the installer, “hey maybe we should keep it, it’s eligible for Medicare!!” One friend on that BookFace thing on the interwebs said it might be a world record for water heater longevity.

As I watched the poor “kids” (when you’re in your 60s, “kids” are anyone 30 years old or less) haul the disconnected monster out of the basement, I couldn’t help but reflect on the throw-away world we’ve built around us. Too many things have obsolescence built into them; because hey, business depends on sales, and sales don’t happen when things last forever. That may be good for sales but it’s not very good for our planet.

However, I do know from experience that there are a few companies on this planet who make things that last a long time; but in my professional opinion those are few and far between. Toyota is one of those companies. They believe that business should be sustainable; not just growth oriented. Toyota makes some of the longest lasting cars on the road; and that’s what brings customers back. They certainly sold me; the 2003 Corolla I bought brand new has well over 300,000 miles on it. We don’t know how many miles it’s gone exactly, because a factory defect for that model year prevents the speedometer from going any farther than 299,999 miles. The body is still in very good shape, and it runs like brand new.

Lots of folks chase the newest, shiniest toys: cell phones, cars, TVs, etc. My Beautiful Girlfriend and I are happy to live in the Stone Age with our old cars, landline phone, and antenna TV. So basically we are weirdos; and we like it. Our favorite thing about all our stuff is that we own it. We have zero debt. Nada. Zip. Nibbit. Blazoo. Well OK those last two “words” aren’t words, but as I said, we are weirdos. So now if my Honey Pie is reading this I’m gonna get in trouble; so let me clarify: she’s very practical and I’m the weirdo. After all, I’m the one who makes up silly words and flings them out on the interwebs for all to see.

I rather doubt this new water heater will last 65 years. Maybe, just maybe, it will outlive us; but I’m not counting on it. No, they just don’t make ’em like they used to… and sometimes that’s a good thing. They don’t make music like they used to either… and now it’s time for me to share some of my favorite “oldies” with you.

Enjoy!

Don’t Bee A Robot

Ever have a time when you think you’ve heard everything, then another weird announcement buzzes about on the news and the interwebs? A very sad announcement that came out recently was the addition of the rusty-patched bumblebee to the endangered species list. Unfortunately, climate change, the widespread use of pesticides, herbicides, and destruction of habitat does not exactly render this announcement as mysterious.

One of the weirdest follow-ups to the endangered bee story was the proposal to use robotic “bees” to aid in pollination of crops. I’m not kidding about this; there are actual efforts in progress to perfect a robotic bee!! This announcement made me even more sad than the prospective loss of bee populations. While some might find robo-bees to be a fascinating credit to modern science, my strong belief is that such inventions do much more harm than good to our environment as a whole.

Human nature, it seems, is always looking for a magical way out of difficult and complex problems. I’d much rather hear more information about how to save our bees; not replace them with machines. After all, our bees, along with many other species, are endangered because of the poisoning of our planet. All the man-made materials used to make robo-bees and other drone type flying machines are produced at no small cost to the environment.

One report I read speaks about using robo-bees in conjunction with real bees to achieve better coverage of crops needing pollination. Seems to me these “geniuses” are missing something very important: robo-bees have tiny propellers. What happens when they collide with a real bee? I’m guessing the bee loses a leg or two, or three, or an eye, or… well you see what I mean. So, we’re already losing bees to other environmental stressors, and now we have scientists who want to surround them with tiny little helicopters?? Oy yoy yoy.

Thankfully, when people learn that bumblebees are endangered, lots of folks want to know what to do to save them. At least, I sure hope they do. My Beautiful Girlfriend and I have been raising food organically for going over 40 years; so many of the techniques are second nature to us.

Here are some simple things everyone can do to help bees thrive:

  1. Buy organically grown produce whenever possible. This ensures that pesticides and / or herbicides were not part of the farming process. In the past, organic fruits and vegetables were an anomaly at the stores, now they’re very commonplace and price competitive. That’s because normal folk became interested in knowing how their food was grown.
  2. Plant wildflowers and / or flowering trees. Simple, right? Seriously, plant flowers, especially away from where you’re going to mow. Everyone knows that will help the bees. Try to be especially sensitive to the fact that bees need to feed all season long; so different types of flowers can be selected to ensure there is food available during the entire feeding season.
  3. Weeds can be very beneficial. Say what?? That’s right… a lawn full of dandelions or clover is a veritable buffet for bees. Many other, taller growing weeds have flowers that bees depend on (please refer back to item # 2).
  4. Do not use pesticides or herbicides in your garden or lawn. These are poison to many forms of life, of which bees are a small group. Too much of the public has been bombarded with chemical solutions for pest and weed management. Speaking from a gardener’s perspective, I would rather see a crop fail than to use poisons to control pests. However, by learning techniques like companion planting and crop rotation, I’ve been blessed with many beautiful harvests of all sorts of vegetables.
  5. Work to preserve habitats. You know that old hollow tree out back? Should have been cut down years ago, yes? Well maybe not: hollow trees provide shelter for bees and other pollinators. Bumblebees will burrow into the ground, so if there are any mounds or abandoned burrows from rabbits, etc., pay attention; the bees may be nesting there.

Long story longer, if we just take a little more time learning about what Mother Nature needs from us, we can help her stay healthy. And if our Mother Earth is healthy, there will be no need for robo-bees. So please, don’t bee a robot. Don’t assume that pesticides and herbicides are safe. If you don’t grow your own, learn where your food comes from and how it is grown. And by all means, let your representatives know your concerns about keeping our environment clean and healthy for all creatures.

Sorry, science kids, robo-bees are not natural!!

Maybe if all bees could be like the one who stood up to Donald Duck; they’d have a fighting chance…

My Best Friend Is Married

Friendship, in my professional opinion, is one of the most valuable forms of nourishment available. I feel I can be an authority on this topic because of one very important qualification: I’m human! Mind you, I’m not a professional human… but I am a human who has a profession. Anyway, I greatly value all my friends; and have even been blessed with a best friend.

We’ve known each other since we were 17… met by happenstance in high school. In those days I already had a best friend; and he still is to this day and I love him to pieces. But this new best friend person stole my heart you see. We got planted next to each other in study hall way back in January of 1972, and became friends pretty much instantly. This was during the time that the internet was still made of strange things called the U.S. Mail and an obscure device called the telephone that transmitted voice signals through wires strung on poles.

Our school was in the booming metropolis of Rhinelander, Wisconsin; and when I left to serve Uncle Sam we used this U.S. Mail internet snail mail not-so-instant messaging thingy and the landline telephone speaking devices to their fullest. We stayed in touch and each time came home on leave it was obvious our friendship grew stronger and stronger.

As anyone who has a best friend knows, the foundation of such a relationship is comprised primarily of kindness and caring. We grew ever closer over the years, and although times and situations presented great challenges to our friendship, it has nonetheless endured and even flourished to this day.

Now here’s where it gets really interesting: this “new best friend” I acquired in high school just happened to be a young woman!! She captured my heart by switching her wardrobe from jeans and smock tops to dresses and makeup. At the time, I had little clue that a woman as beautiful as this could have any interest in me; but this sudden wardrobe change became the equivalent of Cupid bonking me on the noggin with a giant 2 x 4.

Naturally, our friendship evolved into romance; and we developed some habits early on that have kept us focused on the continual nurturing of each other. Habits included holding hands, hugging, snuggling, smooching and saying “I love you” multiple times a day. We still practice these habits; and they came in pretty handy during The Great Adjustment Period of living together. I think that lasted about… um… 17 years.

What can I say? Sometimes I’m a slow learner!!

We’ve discovered some amazing tools along the way, some of which were imparted to us via professional counselors and others via close friends. Thankfully, both of us wanted our friendship to work much more than we wanted it to fail. Some of these tools came in the form of little mantras we say to ourselves, like:

“How important is it? Or put another way, “is this really worth picking a fight over?”

“Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?”

“Say what you mean, and mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.” and…

“You can disagree without being disagreeable.”

Other important habits were learned very early in life; specifically the practice of respect and just plain good manners. We say “please” and “thank you” often. And although neither of us got much of them when we were kids, we give each other compliments regularly. We both cook so we let each other know when a meal was yummy… and don’t say anything negative when it’s just food. If one of us drops something on the floor and the other finds it, we just take care of it without shaming the pants off the accidental litterbug. In short, we take care of each other; and continue to build more friendship while cementing it together with a few million bushels of love.

I’m a very fortunate man, because my best friend is the Most Beautiful Woman In The Universe (all other women are the Second Most Beautiful).

And yes, my best friend is married. To me!!

OK!!!  Time for the mooshy videos!!

I’m Just A GPSter

Many moons ago, before the rock stars died, there lived a Tyrannosaurus Rex that played Jeepster. And they rocked the house many times, and it was pretty darn good. And yes, maybe I’m speaking in code, but those of you who grew up when I did may actually know that all that means.

The T.Rex performances were the 1970s, when technology was a bit different than today.  For example, when people wanted to go somewhere they used a very strange method: they used maps.

Now we have GPS units readily available and pretty inexpensive, too. More and more people are abandoning maps (and lots of other non-electronic things) for computerized toys. I’m beginning to wonder if the ability to read a map is slowly becoming a lost art.

Mind you, I am a self confessed road atlas addict. Ever since I’ve owned a car, I’ve made really sure there was a Rand McNally Road Atlas stashed in it somewhere. I mean hey kids, I don’t really care what language your GPS unit will use to tell you what turn to take. Maps are the cat’s meow in my universe. As I’ve gotten older I even have extended my map collection to a Michigan County Maps atlas. Now that’s livin’ large in my world.

Friends are often surprised to learn that I have absolutely no desire to get a GPS for my car; especially since I commute 56 miles one way to work. They figure such a device could come in handy when the snows or an accident bring traffic to a crawl and I seek an alternate route. And since they know I work in computer support, they are often baffled by my lack of interest in the latest cool electronic doohickey.

Well yes, I work in the computer field, but although technology provides me with a pretty good living; gadgets have ceased to amaze me. Don’t get me wrong, I think toys can be cool. I just don’t need any more junk. I’m guilty of owning plenty of stuff that’s not exactly eco-friendly: televisions, a computer, cell phone, etc. Don’t kid yourselves folks, none of these devices are completely recyclable. Some of it simply cannot be reused. So, my philosophy is to buy the best quality stuff I can so it will last lots of years. Conversely, my philosophy is NOT to buy stuff that will become obsolete quickly.

As far as the GPS stuff goes, my lovely girlfriend and I actually enjoy taking a wrong turn every now and again. Brings a little adventure into our lives; and helps us hone our map reading skills. OK I admit I did ask for a GPS for Christmas one year; but it’s the kind that will never need batteries. It sat on top of the dashboard of my 2003 Toyota Corolla and gave me a general idea which way I was headed. You may have seen one before, here’s a picture of mine:

As you may have guessed, this particular GPS is also called a compass. Some of you may say, “umm… Ken, that’s not a GPS.” Well of course it is; my friend Dave at work told me so. When I was joking about “my new GPS” after Santa brought it to me, he said, “well yeah… it’s a General Pointing System!”

Came in very handy; especially when I got stuck in traffic. If I was on my way home from where I worked in Grand Rapids (Michigan), and ran into some heavy traffic, I’d just zig and zag through the back roads until the car was pointed west. Pretty hard to go too far west here in Michigan unless you have an amphibious car. So even if I’m totally confused; as long as I can get to the Lake Michigan shoreline I can find my way home from there. These days, our son has the Toyota and I drive a brand new 2001 Chrysler Town & Country. It also has a GPS compass thing, but it’s an actual digital readout!! Much easier to read when it’s dark!!

Even though I like to take alternate routes; I stay on the roads; unlike some of my Jeepster owning friends. I don’t really like the practice, but a few of my friends have Jeeps or maybe Toyota Land Cruisers that will go places where my car would never be able to visit. So I’m a Jeepster of a different kind… a GPSter. I’ll still pronounce it “Jeepster” though, because I love the song.  I even sing it to my Beautiful Girlfriend every now and again.

Which song?? Remember that Tyrannosaurus Rex I mentioned at the beginning of this silly story?

This song:

An Open Letter to Noodletoss Anklebracelet

An Open Letter to Noodletoss Anklebracelet

All Others May Read But Do Not Sing The Chorus Out Loud.

(It frightens the radish grabbers.)

Dear Noodlestomp,

The Flooper Beetles keep eating the insides of my safety shoes. I’ll need at least 3 brand new, totally used hammers to eradicate them softly while donuts fly south for Spring. If no tapeworm dust is inhaled, apply bologna to both armpits before walking to the bathroom. When you’ve finally come to the conclusion that ice cream cannot be injected into the elbows to increase flexibility, you’ll find it completely obvious that not only does hair find its way into every part of your automatic transmission, it also can insulate the tree beepers; and this of course is only useful when the wind is multicolored with a pleasantly indignant odor that is often found to be not unlike cottage cheese that has been allowed to rest on the top of a night light during Barn Knocking Day in eastern Slooponia.

Perhaps you never heard that I’m collecting $$ for anyone who wants to attend The Great Flatulence Festival. Beans and boiled eggs are served round the clock to all participants; who of course wear the traditional festival garb of off-white Party See Pants. When the Festival commences, all the Party See Pants participants part ways in a most disorderly manner and select their favorite “brooping corner” so they can perform their musical Stink-O-Rama. Their amusing Farty Party ways will delight the crowds into extinction; and the Party See Pants of the participants will have the familiar tan but irregularly elliptical patterns where the noxious fumes exit the stinkulus holysmokeabus apertures. Additional medical terminology is often used to grade the performances; and of course the winner is permitted to leave before someone strikes a match to ignite the celebratory Kaka-Kaboom.

Tickets are $.27 each but nose plugs are $379.17 per unused pair. Used plugs are not for sale but may often be bartered for with enticements of extra Boiled Egg Bean Surprise available at the condescension stand.

In closing I’d like to demand that you remember about all that creamy slinky dust oozing from the back of my phone today. Not sure why today should be any different than the time none of us celebrated Webmiggle Day while wearing oversized raincoats.

Thank you again for not shrieking while I opened that 12 year old can of smoked caterpillar toes. You must admit they were delicious with those deep fried dust crackers!

Eat Well And Cause Mischief,

Milbert R. Wofflenock

Speaking of nonsense, these gentlemen were masters…

No Sense, No Feelin’

Today’s political hoopla gave me deep sadness… I’m still not finding any sense in it all. A womanizing, bullying egomaniac with deep insecurities rose to the highest office in the land; and those who elected him are somehow able to be completely oblivious to his deep-rooted character flaws.

So far, the only cabinet pick I’ve seen who’s anywhere close to being qualified is General Mattis. For someone who claimed to want to “drain the swamp” when coming to Washington, President Trump surely has picked some nasty leeches for the rest of the cabinet. For those of you who don’t know, leeches are blood suckers who stick to your legs when you go wading in the swamp. Unfortunately, too many of Mr. Trump’s cabinet picks are rich people who know little about the office for which they’ve been selected; but they all have an agenda that, if left unchecked, will likely undo a mountain’s worth of progress that’s been made since World War II ended. Don’t let them fool you, they don’t care what we “little people” have to say. Rather, they are all out for personal gain.

I’m beginning to feel numb inside… but I’m not going to allow that to fester. None of this makes sense to me; but then again all of it does. My Mother used to jokingly say “no sense, no feelin’ “ if one of us fell down but didn’t react much from the pain. Well much of the politics these days makes no sense. But for the no feelin’ part… well… as you may have guessed this post is not gonna be a very Happy Friday.

So I’ll make this short and sweet: I believe it’s our duty as free citizens for EVERYONE to please pay close attention to what’s going on and be ready to speak out loudly and repetitively when our values start getting dragged into the swampy muck. We all need to speak up for equality and decency, and speak OUT against hatred and division.

Some of us remember a similar time; and we have songs, many of which are still being sung today, to remind us.

Gonna be a long four years. Long Time Gone…

Let’s work together.

We don’t want to let it slip through our fingers.

We don’t have to be famous to make a difference. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Working With Controlled Substances

I’ve noticed that some every day items that are deemed harmless should probably be listed as dangerous if used incorrectly. Folks who know me well are aware that I have something of an addictive nature; and sometimes resisting certain substances can present a big challenge. Seems like the greatest exposure I get to such things happens at work.

Mind you, I’m not talking about smoking alcoholic beverages, snorting LSD, or shooting up marijuana. There was a time in my life when I was “interested” in things along that line; but I became way too involved in altered states. Somewhere along the line I got help from The People Upstairs, so I no longer have any interest in having my mind bent artificially. Thankfully I haven’t had any intoxicants in my bloodstream for well over 20 years now (thank you God for Everything).

No, I’m talking about something much more insidious: I love to eat!! Well OK I guess most people at least like to eat. It’s kind of important, right? Yes!! But there are times when I like to eat too much. And there are other times when I like to eat “recreational foods.” Those are foods that are not really nutritious, but pretty darned delicious. I believe it’s OK to eat something recreational from time to time.  However, moderation is the key.  What follows is a short list of foods (or food venues)I like a little too much; and I joke to my friends (often seriously) that these should be considered controlled substances.

Pizza. Oh man I love that stuff. We do have it at home sometimes, but much of my pizza consumption happens in the workplace. I admit it, I love the stuff; and find it very difficult to resist. I sometimes cringe when I learn that during a training session or whatever there will be pizza provided. I cringe because I know that my lunch in the fridge would be much more waistline friendly; and also because I know deep down that if left alone I can eat almost a whole pizza. Then, if someone else has a work event and there are leftovers?? Oh yes, I become Kenny The Pizza Vulture.

Had that today as a matter of fact. My friend Dave told me, “hey I bought pizza for everyone today. It’s over in the factory and there should be some left!!” I said aloud, “thanks, but I need that like I need a hole in the head.” He smiled and said, “well there’s probably some left.” So what did I do? I thought up a valid work reason to go over to the other building. And yes, there was pizza. And yes, I had some. And yes, The People Upstairs helped me again, because I went away, did my work thing, came back, and all the pizza had been removed!! I’m sorry… that stuff is addictive. Which brings another controlled substance to mind…

Potato Chips. Sheesh… do I really need to expound? I can eat a whole bag all by myself. We rarely buy them. Sometimes they have them at work with lunches (or leftovers) and I’ll zip open a small bag and basically inhale the stupid things.

Peanut M&Ms. So like at work ya know? They have these little like gumball machines like at the movies where you put in a quarter and if you wiggle wiggle wiggle the handle just right you get lots more than if you fling the little handle around quickly and if you’re really good at it you can get WAY more M&Ms with one, two, or maybe three quarters than you get if you spend a buck from the one-package-at-a-time machine. Holy CARP those things are yummy. Bottom line? I keep my pockets empty of change most of the time.

All You Can Eat Buffets. Alright, this is not a work thing. I’m talking about the ones for which you have to pay. And OK maybe at weddings, etc. too, but especially those that cost me money. When I pay, I talk myself into thinking “I’m gonna get my money’s worth,” then I eat about 719 bazillion calories worth of goodies. I can never control myself at a stinkin’ all you can eat buffet.

I could probably list many more, but you get the idea. Fortunately, my Beautiful Girlfriend talked me out of my desire to get some take-out this evening. Good thing too… I could stand to lose some flab. My best defense at work is to bring a healthy lunch and only eat what I bring with me. When I do that, I’m pretty successful at avoiding these “controlled substances.”

Sometimes.

Well, I was trying to find the cartoon called “Pigs Is Pigs” where Porky Pig stuffs himself; but here’s a Disney cartoon by the same name but completely different.