Every Day Is (not) April Fools

What to write about today?? There’s lots of buzz in the news about some famous guy who is being charged with a crime. Like lots of famous guys, he probably won’t face much in the way of consequences… nothing at all like what you or I would encounter if we were being booked for a crime. So I suppose I could write about that… but instead of giving all of you something that would likely increase your blood pressure, I’ll circumvent it a little by just doing as a different famous criminal once said.

“Let me say this about that.” – Richard Nixon

So there I was, at the Egg Roll House Wonderful Chinese Restaurant Which Has The Best Chinese In Muskegon Michigan And It’s Been That Way For Many Years, waiting for my take out order (which would have been ready but I asked, “how long to add Shrimp With Vegetable?” and the nice lady said “Five Minutes!!” so I looked at the stack of magazines and the copy on top had, in big letters, “Is Truth Dead?” written on it and it made me think of all the total crap that finds its way into the media these days and some people actually believe it and so I thought “what the heck do I write about on the day before April Fools?” and this seemed like a good topic to go with so now it’s time to STOP WITH THE HUGE RUN-ON SENTENCE AWREDDY and tell everyone that I’m going to write about this here:


Now, I’m old enough to remember when The Beatles came to America on The Mayflower.   I’ve observed a few cultural changes over the years. When I was a kid, if you said something that wasn’t true, it was called a lie. Very simple. Everyone knew what that meant. Then, somewhere along the line, a word by the name of “misinformation” was introduced into our spoken and written language. It still meant that someone was telling a lie, but extenuating circumstances would often surround whatever the “misinformation” might be; and these circumstances were too regularly offered to create a smokescreen about the plain reality of it all: it was a stinkin’ lie.

One of my least favorite euphemism for a lie is the term “fake news.” Well the use of that term really bugs me. It’s kinda like someone offering me “turkey bacon.” Sorry friends, there is no way you can make bacon from turkey. There are companies who make something that looks like bacon, and maybe sorta kinda tastes like bacon, but it ain’t bacon. Bacon comes from dead pigs. Period. So when someone starts babbling about fake news; they really aren’t talking about news at all. They are calling someone a liar.

So quit with the euphemisms already!! A lie is a lie! Somehow, though, the printed word and the interwebs seem to give lies a life of their own.  And all too often, people who would rather not bother with checking facts will believe almost anything they see in print, online, or hear and see on TV and radio. And if a person is very important, and doesn’t like what they see or hear, and call it fake news, well guess what?? Because that person is very important (at least in their own mind), people will believe something that simply isn’t true!

What a world!!

So to help you enjoy April Fools Day, I will not lament any further about the woes of the world.  Rather I hereby offer you some absolutely accurate facts that will hopefully help you in your search for the truth. I can vouch for all that follows, because you are reading it on the interwebs; and everyone knows that whatever is on the interwebs is absolutely true stuff.

True Fact #1: Russia is e-mailing 45 rpm records to unsuspecting music lovers; and these records contain secret DNA altering messages embedded in the grooves. So when you think you’re listening to an old Chuck Berry tune (God rest his soul); you’re actually absorbing molecular sound waves that will cause your eyebrows to grow completely together (Holy Unibrow, Batman!!).

True Fact #2: A new version of radical Atheism has sprung up in rural Minnesota. Harsh winters have produced fertile ground for these factions to adopt terrorist tactics that involve dumping large quantities of Cracker Jacks in ice fishing shanties. This of course confuses unsuspecting ice fishermen; who upon returning to their shanty, veer away from their faiths and compulsively gorge themselves on the tasty snack food. These fishermen disappoint their families when they come home with no fish but a very sticky face and huge sugar buzz.

True Fact #3: Honeybees are being forced into slave labor by the Air Force. Instead of using normal methods of jet engines for propulsion, bees will be harnessed to fighter jets to lift them off the ground in a very stealthy manner. This method, called “beezooming,” is both relatively silent and very difficult to detect by even the most sensitive monitoring equipment.

True Fact #4:  Cell phones emit electromagnetic radiation that cause sterilization.  That’s right kids!!  If you make a phone call using your cell, be careful not to hold it near your nether regions; unless of course you enjoy the tingly sensation of your reproductive organs being jiggled about at the frequency of 1900 MHZ.  Hey, some people get their jollies in weird ways.  Personally, I’ve been very careful to wear my aluminum foil britches when I talk on the cell phone.  Only problem with that is the heating that occurs while the phone is in use, but at least my innards are still firing on all 3 cylinders.

I could produce many more True Facts but I don’t want to bore you all with my amazing knowledge of things I just made up in my mind. You may never have heard of any of the previous 4 True Facts. That’s because although they are all true, those who have this information have been sworn to secrecy. All those “in the know” about these things are very aware that if they don’t keep their mouths shut about all this, I will send trained slime spiders to their homes at unpredictable hours.

Nobody likes slime spiders.

OK… hope you all have a nice April Fools Day. And please, know that just like those X-Files kids used to say, “the truth is out there.” Really it is… you just gotta dig for it sometimes.

Speaking of lies, though, here are a few fun lying thingies…



“We Have Met The Enemy…”

If any of you follow this blog regularly, perhaps you’ve noticed that I try to stay far away from politics when I send out Happy Friday!!! stories. Well I’m gonna veer away from that just a bit tonight, and jump on my soap box for a bit. Actually what I’m going to write about is really not a political issue, but it is, but it’s not. Politicians will play a role in it, but the bottom line is that all of us need to act. No exaggeration here, it’s a matter of survival.

Some of you may even remember reading this rant a while back. Well I cannot lie, this is a rerun. That’s because we just left our Michigan home to drive to Florida and back. And yes I know, the act of driving a car is also a contributor to global warming. But believe me, the problem is much bigger than just automobiles. We haven’t taken the trip in several years, but when we sojourned to visit family and friends we noticed that there appear to be way too many people on this planet. Farmland and wild areas are being gobbled up and being built upon.

All this starkly illustrates the abundant scientific evidence that we humans have caused many unwelcome changes in our Earth’s ecology. Our exploits are warming the globe and producing climate change; and unless you live in a cave, it’s likely you’ve heard of the young people protesting about it. One of the most well known is a young lady named Greta Thunberg, and she was seen on TV imploring U.S. politicians not to listen to her, but to listen to science.

The sad thing about all this is: scientists have been warning about the toxic effects climate change and pollution have on our ecosystems for many, many years. And no, I’m not just talking about all the hooting and hollering hippies like me were doing in the 1960s and 1970s. No, even the ancients knew that humans could affect local climates by actions like draining swamps or deforestation.

As economies evolved along with, and often because of technology, the degree we humans parted from Nature widened. The result: too much of our society is addicted to a lifestyle that has sprung from a dependence upon fossil fuels, consumer goods, and massive agricultural operations. In short, we’re addicted; and the consequences have been rearing their ugly heads. The consequences include an increased frequency of intolerable heat, powerful storms; and reductions in wildlife numbers. And until recently, not enough clamor arose to stop it. Not sure if you’ve ever met a heroin addict or maybe really learned what addiction is all about; but for practicing addicts one thing is always true: they engage in destructive behavior and ignore the consequences.

That is of course until they get caught.

Guess what? We’ve been caught. By children. Children!! All I can say is, Thank God for the Children!! Greta Thunberg started her activism at age 15!! That means that we hippies are indeed having an impact. How did I come up with that?? Well, these are our children’s children. That gives me hope that we can take pride in our legacy. Millions of young people around her age are loving what Greta has to say. And guess what again some more? They’re gonna be voting soon. This is a very good thing.

Some politicians and big business folks are trying to demonize anything that resembles a Green New Deal. And as my Beautiful Cousin pointed out while we were visiting in Florida, nobody is barking about all the rockets being launched into space. The launches have actually been mentioned as a tourist attraction on TV down there!! Don’t we have enough to do here on Earth without sending a bunch of space junk into orbit??

Thankfully, lots of clean energy initiatives are underway. But we still have a long way to go with preserving green space and protecting wildlife. However, I try to be a “glass half full” kind of guy. I’m trying to focus on the good that’s happening around the world, in spite of the media continuously throwing trash in my face.

When I was a kid, there was a wonderful comic strip called “Pogo” by Walt Kelly. I went hunting on the interwebs and found a couple frames from one of Walt Kelly’s “Pogo” renditions from Earth Day in 1971. Still very much applies today.

And now for some of those hippie environmental tunes. Some new, some old. All with the same message.

An Open Letter Pleading That You Beware Of The Crazy Winter Driver

Dear Ladles and Jellyspoons,

I have come to the conclusion that snow induces seizures in many automobile drivers. This I am knowing because of the spastic manner in which people navigate their jalopy zoomers as soon as the weather changes. Now the reader must appreciate the sheer folly of this, because we live in Michigan and snow is not exactly a foreign substance here. It comes to visit us every single year, and every single year many snow belt residents seem to lose all their winter driving skills and commence to having seizures behind the wheel just as soon as the snow arrives.

Of course, these seizures are self induced, a direct result of drivers only looking as far as the end of their noses while assessing traffic situations. This is coupled with the idiocy factor, which seems to compel people to navigate their street rods as if they are the only person on the road. The end result is truly dangerous behavior that becomes very unsafe for them and all who might be around them. Of course, the idiocy factor is present all year long. Then the weather changes. Autumn brings rain, and as autumn slides into winter, the rain begins to freeze and then VOILA!! Snow. What a shocker, huh? Ya right… this is very normal for Michigan and all the rest of the Snow Belt.

So you have all these clam-headed tringlenorks behind the wheel who drive as if they have absolutely no clue about a simple yet amazing concept: snow and ice make the road slippery!!! Now who would ever have imagined such nonsense?? Well it’s true!! And hey, you know all those road hogs who think they will never get where they are going unless they go 98.36 mph?? Well they seem eager to zoom around even when it’s winter outside. Consequently, we see many of them in the ditch; or even worse, they get to enjoy testing the structural integrity of their car by doing a nice rollover or two. Today we were heading home from Grand Rapids and some poor soul decided to park their truck face first in a rather deep ditch.  Hopefully nobody was hurt.

It’s rather scary at times. I do my best to avoid getting stuck in a chain of cars. That’s a pile-up waiting to happen. So I keep my distance and keep the speed at a safe level. Then comes Mr. or Ms. HineyHugger. I’m sure what appears to be going through their minds is: “Oh, now that the snow has arrived, I must try to lick your bumper with my hood ornament at every possible opportunity.” This appears to be the mantra of tailgaters; who very soon enjoy crying and rolling in the ditch when the person in front of them has to hit the brakes. And all too many hit the brakes because of something like: “Holy Mackerel I Can’t See With All This Blowing Snow!! Oh Gosh There’s A Deer Or Maybe Not!! Who Just Sent Me A Text Message?? Where Is The Rest Of My Breakfast Burrito??!!” Suddenly they are sliding wildly; which increases their enjoyment of the wintry drive. They are especially happy after learning the effect that saplings have on the underside of their car. Unfortunately, however, these yo-yos not only might suffer injury, but also may drag other unwilling participants into the ditch party.

So I would like to close with a plea: Please, no matter where you are, drive safely to and from your home and / or your non-home universe; especially if you live in an area that enjoys seasonally frozen precipitation (not to be confused with seasoned waffle fries) and misinformed people who think they are excellent drivers but are actually eels in a small bowl of Jell-O with a nice lint frosting which is complemented by a run-on sentence just like this one.

You will know the eel-people by their affinity for car hiney hugging. Let them pass so they can enjoy their ditch races. It’s ironically wonderful when they are hopelessly stuck and try to drive out anyhow. Oh yes, they do enjoy the drilling of their tires into the muck so the wrecker has to bend its winches when trying to remove them from their itchy ditchy playgrounds.

Also, please PLEASE PLEASE never fight with other drivers!! ROAD RAGE KILLS. It also makes dead people out of living ones. There are people on the planet who will actually use their car for a weapon! And still others who keep loaded weapons in their cars!  Please be careful!

OK, enough of my venting. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and lots of people are bringing wonderful things for the taste flavors of your face and mouth parts. Please enjoy your everything and especially that nice treat that Auntie Whosamajigger brought for Holiday Face Stuffing Day. I like to rub cookies on my belly. Very good enjoyment, I’ll say.

Above all, be kind to everyone you meet. Even the wacko driver ninnies.

Perhaps some of us could get out of our cars and meet at the skating pond…

Thank You God For Everything

Here we go again, the holiday season is upon us. In the U.S. we start the ball rolling with Thanksgiving and continue on through Hanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Lots of celebration and material giving, lots of TV commercials, lots of crazy sales, lots of parties.

Personally, I find all this commercial everything just as distasteful as the political ads that lead up to election day. Now that I’m an old dinosaur 1960s hippie peacenik tree hugger geezer dude, the holidays mean a whole lot less about all the stuff and a whole lot more about all the people I carry with me in my heart, both here and on the Other Side.

I’ve finally made it to the point where I can delight in the good times of childhood and let the not-so-good times fade away. Although it took me way to long to understand, I get it now: our parents did the best they could with us kids. They did the best they knew how. I can honestly believe that today and miss them with love rather than hold on to resentments. Of course, I’m a spoiled American so I do indulge in the material gift giving. But as time marches on I find myself getting increasingly gooshy about how fortunate I am.

That’s right, I said it, SPOILED AMERICAN. That’s me. I have plenty to eat; a job, a home, family and friends who love me, even cars that work. When I focus on those areas I become very aware that I’m rich beyond measure really.

So this time of year I find myself saying Thanks to God, whoever THEY are. A good friend of mine once gave me a bumper sticker that read: “God is too big to fit in any one religion.” Well amen to that. When you look at the similarities in all the various faiths; it becomes increasingly apparent that we’re all praying to the same Divine Spirit.

Yes, I truly am an old dinosaur 1960s hippie peacenik tree hugger geezer dude. I “keep the faith” that we humans will eventually get our act together to wage peace rather than war, and harmonize with Mother Earth rather than rape her. I pray for these things often, and as one of my favorite people often sang, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

Here’s wishing all of my friends and loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope we can all take a moment to help those less fortunate than we are. Speaking for myself, I know that this Spoiled American could donate a lot more. Every little bit helps. Maybe put an extra buck in the Salvation Army kettle so the bell ringer can have something to do besides watch people walk past. Or maybe donate to the Red Cross. The opportunities are pretty much endless and the need is great.

Above all, don’t give up. Try to be happy, it’s what God wants for all of us. Work, pray, and vote for peace, love and a healthy planet. Embrace the Golden Rule. It’s never too late. Persistence will pay off, I believe this with every fiber of my being. And for those of you who think maybe I’m Somewhere In Dream Land; well I’ll just keep praying for youse, too.

I Hate Computers

So there I was, minding my own business, 640 feet above sea level (well OK maybe a little more because my office is on the second floor of our house), surfing the interwebs, when suddenly I got a notification that my computer needed some Microsoft updates, but I was a bit leery of this phenomenon because my computer is rather old and I’ve had loads of enjoyment with similar scenarios but I figured “Oh well, hopefully it will be OK;” so I applied the updates well before I wrote this run-on sentence.

Did I mention that I was a bit leery about this? Did I mention I have an old computer? Did I mention that my printer is old also? No, I did not mention the old printer. Did I mention that the computer and printer worked fine for a very long time with no issues? No, I didn’t mention that; but guess what happened after I applied these marvelous Windows 10 updates? My printer is don’t working. All my icons are karploofenated. The weather, Microsoft Edge, and other crap I never wanted appeared on my desktop. My audio is also don’t working. I am not pleased. I am actually rather disgusted. So annoyed was I, all this fun caused me to repeat one of my favorite sayings that I often uttered during my tenure as a factory floor IT support guy: I hate computers.

I’ve been retired for a little over 2 years now, but I used that silly mantra so often during my work times that it spilled over into situations that often were not at all related to technology. For example, if I drop an egg on the floor, I’ll exclaim, “FLARN!! I HATE COMPUTERS!!” My wife will ask me what’s wrong, and when I explain that I broke an egg on the floor she just chuckles a bit and shakes her head. Let me be clear though, I only hate computers when they are being naughty. And I especially dislike them when an update comes to visit and makes “improvements” that render my devices useless.

Tried to restore the system twice times. No good. Then tried reinstalling drivers. Still no good. At least the network stuff still worked so I could dance around the interwebs looking for a solution to all this happy flangelboofen. Tried this, that, and the other thing. Still no printing, no audio. Revisited the “Recovery” option in control panel. No more chances for system restore, but a magical statement appeared: “If you’re having problems with your PC, go to settings, and try resetting it.” Well I sure didn’t want to lose any data, but I remembered I did a backup not too long ago. I reluctantly clicked the link, and was able to return my computer to a previous version. In other words, I got the option to bring Windows back to what it was before the stupid updates.

HOLY MOLY!! AUDIO WORKS NOW!! OK… let’s try to print. Nope!! Oy yoy yoy. Back to researching on the webbernets. Uninstalled, reinstalled the printer about 8 times. No worky. Not a darn thing wrong with the printer… it’s just old. More searching… found that I had to “fool” the computer into talking to the printer by saying it is a “USB Composite Device.” Then… holy flerking schnitt… the printer is working!! I made a little document about how to perform this little trick and saved it in the folder with the drivers. For good measure, I went into the bowels of the computer and disabled the automatic updates. That’ll show those Microsoft weenies!! Well no, it won’t, but it will hopefully preserve some of my sanity.

Have I mentioned that I hate computers?? Well OK, I’m not in computer hating mode right now because everything works. But hey, why can’t these Microsoft noodleheads leave well enough alone?? Ya know what I mean?? I bought this computer as a refurb with a one year warranty. Retailed for about $2000 when it was new, I paid $250 for it a couple years after it was released. Now it’s approaching 12 years old, but it works like a charm. And the printer is about the same age… and yes, it also works very well. Seems we could save the planet by making things last; but NOOOO… the manufacturers want us to keep buying the latest and greatest junk so the older, still working wonderfully junk can go into the landfill. This philosophy makes me to barf on the ground.

Oh well, lesson learned. No more automatic updates for this guy. Not with an old computer… that’s bad juju. Cortana can smell my toes, whoever she is. And I don’t need Edge, thank you very much. Bing also makes me to barf on the ground. None of these are present after all the tweaking I did to get this machine back to “normal.” No, I’m just very grateful I have the skills to resurrect an old computer after Microsoft tried to take it away from me. And yes, I will likely continue to grumble when just about anything goes wrong, technical or no, and blurt out my work mantra.

I hate computers.

I bet Charlie Chaplin would have hated computers too… this is one of my favorite scenes from the movie “Modern Times.”

This has nothing to do with computers, but it’s one of my favorite Three Stooges shorts. I have no idea how they came up with the title, but anyway…


If I Were King

Dunno about youse folks, but I’m completely sick up and fed with all the nasty political ads. In fact, I’m even sick up and fed with the nice political ads. And I’m truly disgusted at all the lies and completely made up stuff that some of these jokers are tossing around!! What ever happened to courtesy and respect? They seem to be dwindling all too rapidly. I fear for our democracy… you know, that weird system where people vote for their choices and the outcome is respected by BOTH sides?? But most of all, I am frightened by those who believe violence is an acceptable way to resolve differences.

Anybody listening? I truly hope we can all pull together. Lots of protesting in the streets these days by disillusioned citizens. While I agree with many of their sentiments, I can’t help but ask, “are you gonna vote??” 


So, enough about all that (for now). This is supposed to be another installment of “Happy Friday!!!” and from this moment forward, I’m gonna try to make it something that will produce a smile or two. Therefore and to-wit (that’s legal talk), I’ve decided to appoint myself King for a Day. Tomorrow, you can be King. Unless of course you’d rather be Queen; in which case you are probably much more powerful than a King because of all the cool moves you can make on the chess board. So the next day someone else can be in charge, and it will be a rotating kind of thing. Kings and Queens, Princes and Dukes; run around in circles till everyone pukes.

Now of course it’s time to steal some lyrics from a Three Dog Night Song:

If I was the King Of The World,

I’d tell you what I’d do.

I’d throw away the cars and the bars and the war

And make sweet love to you.”

Perhaps I wouldn’t make love to you; because I don’t even know you. Besides, my Beautiful Girlfriend has allowed me to be her lover for many years; and I don’t want to mess that up you see. She’s my One and Only. I don’t care how much candy you have in your glove box or how much pickled herring you “accidentally” left in my fridge; my lovin’s are reserved for my Honey Pie and nobody else. Get it? OK, cool. Yes, I’ll give you hugs and love you unconditionally. Just not in a married kind of way. Am I making myself clear? Do you get where I’m coming from?? Do you know who this is?? Do you know who you’re tawkin’ to???

OooK… sorry I got sidetracked. Alright… make-a-believe I’m King of the World. First order of business: everybody has to be nice to each other. NOW!! Don’t make me say this again!! Do I have to stop this car?? Do you want to go in the corner?? Whatsa matta wichyoo?? Anyhow??

Sheesh. Just be nice awreddy.

Second order of business: this home we call Earth is getting pretty doggoned dirty with human garbagey pollutiony thingies. Poisons! Broken stuff! Single use plastics!! Oy yoy yoy!! Time to clean up or no more play time!! You see these toys you like so much? Huh?? You wanna play with them ever again?? Well you better listen up and clean your room!! And yes, by your room, I mean Earth!!

That’s a pretty big room…

Third order of business: BE NICE TO EACH OTHER!! Oh wait… I said that awreddy. Well I’m sorry… but youse kids have me all fired up here and now you got me tawkin’ like I’m still livin’ on Long Island. Well OK, maybe not youse kids, but those violent KKK Nazi Oath Keeper Proud Boys people.  They make me to barf on the ground.

Fourth (and last) (for today) (I think) order of business: keep a close eye on all these elected official Bozos (and Bozettes). Remember that silly statement, “government of the people, by the people, and for the people?” That means us… it’s our responsibility to make things right. The people we voted for are merely representatives; and we need to keep them accountable. Sure that takes time and effort; but if we don’t do that we’re letting the foxes guard the hen house.

Ooops!! One more order of business (then I’ll let someone else be King) (or Queen): one of the strongest, most effective votes we have is how we spend our money. Buy locally, think globally. Pay attention to where your food comes from and how it was produced. Give the locals first chance at your dollars. We need to support each other!

Now is the time for the extra long sentence which I forgot to include in many previous “Happy Friday!!!” installments because I was either too cribbly boo or perhaps too forgetful to remember (oldtimer’s disease?) that such sentences often bring joy to those who like to see grammar mangled into a small moldy piece of cheesecake in the bottom left corner of the refrigerator; which of course reminds me of the fact that although I know how to pretend to spout off orders as if I were King, I don’t know anything; I never did know anything; but now I know I don’t know anything. I used to think I knew lots of stuff; but that was before I got learnified via the pains of growing older and wider (<— not a spelling goof there) and realized that the more I learn the less I know.

Knowing that I don’t really know much makes me wonder if I’m now qualified to run for office.

NO!! I just wanna be King!!

Goodbye Columbus!

No, I’m not gonna write about the book “Goodbye Columbus,” by Philip Roth; partially because I never read the book, but also because I never saw the movie by the same name.  Why I would write about what I’m not going to write about is not important either, so I hereby declare this paragraph completely unnecessary and I now pronounce you Macaroni and Cheese.

On the other hand, this coming Monday is a federal holiday.  According to the Google, the holiday is still called Columbus Day, although here in Michigan and other states it is celebrated as Indigenous People’s Day.  Our daughter just refers to it as “no mail day.”  I’ve never really been too fond of Columbus Day; nor have I ever really been amazed by Christopher Columbus and his band of merry men.   One does have to admit, however, that surviving ocean travel over such distances in the late 1400’s was kind of remarkable.

What bugs me is all this fuss about some Italian dude “discovering” America; and after listening to some news on the radio this past Monday I’ve happily “discovered” that I’m not alone.  Several communities in the US are dumping Columbus Day in favor of what’s been called Indigenous People’s Day in honor of Native Americans.  Rightly so, because after all, they were here first.

Besides all that, being of Norwegian descent I get a little snorked that the Vikings get little credit for sailing to this continent about 500 years before that Italian dude.  From what I’ve read they didn’t stay long; and ended up going back to Greenland after the natives made it very clear they weren’t welcome.  Anyhow, no celebration of Columbus Day at our house.  However, I do love to be a little silly at times (OK many times), so I hereby present you with my own version of a poem we learned when I was a kid in school:

In 1492

In fourteen hundred and ninety two,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
If he hollers let him go,
Eeny, meeny, mynee, moe.

He took three ships, their names were these:
El Niño, The Pinto, and The Sack Of Cheese.
If he hollers let him go,
Eeny, meeny, mynee, moe.

I’m unreasonably certain that this poem will be adopted throughout the land.  Or perhaps it will be banned due to its homo sapiens innuendo and covert satanic referendum.  After all, it’s quite invincible that if you vociferously chant “Eeny, meeny, mynee, moe” during a full moon in the middle of an automobile recycling center (a.k.a. junkyard), you may want to remain somewhat motionless to avoid tripping over randomly placed hubcaps and / or transaxle assemblies.  Similarly, shouting “El Niño, The Pinto, and The Sack Of Cheese!!” seven times in rapid succession is likely to cause one to somnambulate during reruns of “Gilligan’s Island.”

Might be good not to even read that silly poem.  Not sure what effect it may have on your spirit, your aorta, or your Karmen.  What??  You read it already??  Well I guess the cravat is out of the bag then. 

So if you have Monday off, good for you.  I have every Monday off, because I’m retired and you are not.  Unless you are of course.  Retired.  But if not, thank you for keeping Social Security solvent for me.  And please, have a Happy Monday and a somber, reflective Indigenous People’s Day. 

Otherwise, I shall have no choice but to report you to the Inner Peace Police.

These have nothing to do with anything, but I found them rather amusing.



Some Things Don’t Make Cents

Inflation is so much fun, wouldn’t you agree? Hey, it happens. Been there, done that. If you’ve lived on the planet as long as I have, you’ve experienced numerous ups and downs in the economic universe. But I can’t help but think that retailers are taking advantage of the situation and using sneaky marketing to maintain profits. Oh wait… that’s just business, right?? Doesn’t matter if people are struggling to make ends meet. To quote Dr. Seuss’s character, The Lorax, “Business is business and business must grow, regardless of crummies in tummies you know.”

I have lots of suggestions on how to fix our economy, but for some reason the “experts” haven’t called me to ask what they are. For example: there’s a bench sitting near a walking path along M-120 near US31 that says “CONSUME” on the backrest. Ohhh I’d love to get some red paint and put a big circle with a line through it across those letters!! I mean, hey, I know we are consumers, and apparently that’s a big part of what keeps the economic engines humming. But some of the products involve too much packaging, which gobbles resources and contributes to climate change. And some are just plain harmful to our planet. And then there’s that next new gadget that everyone’s gotta have. I have a lot of old stuff. I try to spend a little more on quality things so they last longer. No wireless headphones… batteries don’t really recycle so good. Too much throwaway everything. A little less consumption would go a long way toward putting the brakes on climate change too, in my professional opinion.

As Grandma Loftus used to say, “That’s my two cents. Nobody asked me fer it, but I give it to ya’s anyway!”

So there I was, in full consumer mode, in the Meijer store, with a hankering for potato chips. A friend of mine referred to such snack foods as “flavored air,” due to the outrageous price versus quantity ratio. So I looked at the Kettle Brand chips, and they were “on sale.” Two for $6, but you had to buy two in order to get that price. Regular price: $3.18. So they want me to be fat I think. I already needed the chips like I needed a hole in my head, so they want me to save 38 cents by buying two??

I bought one.

Then off to the Dollar General on the way home for more goodies. Hey, it’s been a bit stressful around here these days, and we both admit that we turn to comfort foods in such times. After all, we are spoiled Americans, right?? I make joking there, but… well not really. Anyway, I wanted some Little Debbie Nutty Bars. Those things are just plain delicious. And guess what?? On sale!! Two for $5, but the sign says, “Must Buy 2.” Regular price: $2.55. Yeppers, I can save a whole dime on two boxes so I can make my belly bigger. Awesome!!

Again, one was enough.

Remember when Meijer had their “10 for $10” sale? There was a time when whatever was included in such a sale cost a buck apiece. The new ad is raving about a “7 for $7” sale, but if you don’t buy 7 then the item goes for regular price, whatever that is. And now there’s a relatively new term called “shrinkflation.” That’s where the product costs the same price but is packaged differently so you get less. One candy bar manufacturer actually insulted me (yes, I’m sure it was directed at me personally). There is this truly delicious chocolate bar from Germany, the brand name is Ritter Sport. Whole hazelnuts on basically every square centimeter of the bar. So what did they do? Same price, same wrapper, but they chopped a third of the candy bar off!! There’s literally an air pocket where the chocolate used to be for crying out loud!!

Sheesh!! I didn’t buy no any. Dirty stinkers.

Well to lighten the mood a bit, my Beautiful Girlfriend saved $5 today on her Target bill!! We were paying some bills online and she asked me to take care of that bill for her, so we got out her iPad and I signed on to her Target account (she doesn’t do the computer stuff). “I think the bill is $112,” she said. Once we got to her account, the amount due was shown to be $107 and some change. “Cool!! I saved five bucks!!” she said, smiling. “Huh??” I asked. “Yeah, I thought the bill was $112 but it’s only $107, so I saved five bucks!!” “Umm… I don’t think you saved anything,” I replied. Then we both giggled ask I handed her the iPad so she could play her games.

So hey, some things just don’t make cents, but then again, some do!! My Honey Pie saved 5 bucks!!

Too much greed these days. If only those Greedy Guys (or Gals) could get their just deserts like these punks.

Oh Well, And We’re All In This Together.

I remember the days of the Countdown Clock, a program I installed on my work computer about 2 years before my retirement date. My job in manufacturing IT support took me to all different areas of the factory. As I walked around the plant, those who knew me would ask, “What’s the countdown today?” “178 days,” I’d reply with a smile. “What are you gonna do with all that free time?? Won’t you get bored??” they’d inquire. “I’m pretty sure I’ll be OK,” I’d respond with a smile, “I’m just looking forward to doing what I want to do!” Well I’m a little over 2 years into this retirement gig; and I must say I really like it. And the best part is I get to do whatever I want!!

Ummm… no.

I had many grandiose ideas before retirement came. Maybe sell some of my writing. Maybe have a picture perfect vegetable garden… one that’s so nicely manicured it’s magazine cover worthy. Maybe get my amateur radio license back. Maybe travel and see the country. Maybe clean the garage. Maybe go through all my old (1930’s) radio stuff and sell some of it. Maybe… who knows?

I’m really glad I’m good at the maybe thing. Because you know what? I’ve learned that life gets in the way of plans. One of my favorite spiritual sayings is, “If you wanna make your Higher Power laugh, tell them you have plans.” Boy ain’t that the truth. OK, I did get my amateur radio license back. Now I just need to put up an antenna… Travel basically got thrown in the trash due to Covid. I’m not really interested in getting on an airplane, so any travel we’ll be doing will likely be by car. However, family stuff has kept us from really venturing very far, and that’s just fine.

Priorities change, circumstances change. I’m very grateful I’ve learned how to stay cool when things don’t go my way. Hasn’t been an overnight thing mind you. My Beautiful Girlfriend and I have been slammed with some rather interesting growth experiences over the years. Thankfully, we’ve embraced resources that have helped us react calmly to the challenges that people, places, and things put in front of us. We’ve learned that there’s no such thing as a bad feeling; but how we react to feelings makes all the difference in the world. Then there’s that Serenity Prayer, the “short form” of which is probably familiar to all of you.

God, grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

So yeah, that prayer and a regular review of my Gratitude List are among the tools that help me have peace of mind… most of the time. I’ve shortened the Serenity Prayer even further when life gets in the way of my garden work or whatever. I simply say, “Oh well.” Had a really high-class “problem” come up just recently that illustrates how things have changed for the better between my ears. And the example I’m about to relate also explains the “We’re All In This Together” part of this week’s title.

There I was, minding my own business, hoping to stain our deck. I bought a 5 gallon can of Armstrong & Clark stain (really good stuff), pressure washed all the crud off the deck, and did the 48 hour wait for the wood to dry. Then of course the rain comes. Have to wait another 48 hours. Then some family stuff came along. Can’t stain today. Next day, more rain. Then a dear friend got sick and died unexpectedly. Can’t stain today or the next day or the next. And yes, of course, more rain.

Oh well.

This past Thursday finally brought an opportunity to stain!! So I took the leaf blower to the deck to clean off the leaves and such, then proceeded to slosh some stain. I was very sad, however, to notice all the ants that did not get out of the way very well while I was running the roller. And yes, that really does touch my heart. I don’t roll on the ground and cry or anything, but I don’t like it. There was a Zoom meeting I needed to attend so I did that while staining. My friends didn’t mind; and with the miracle of electronics I was able to hear just fine and actually contribute. Toward the end of the meeting, I shared about my sadness at killing ants. “I’m giving them all a brown coat,” I joked. But I continued, “Believe it or not, I say a prayer whenever I kill something. We’re all in this together you know.”

And yes I really do send up a prayer when a creature’s life is abruptly shortened because of me. I firmly believe we really ARE all in this together, and our Creator’s creatures are ALL important. Don’t get me wrong, I swat mosquitoes and deer flies; but I do tell them I’m sorry. Then there have been times when I try to catch a spider who’s in the house and I accidentally squish the poor thing. I didn’t mean to hurt the spider… I tried to help it but this slipped and that slid and the spider got smooshed. I ask forgiveness and often follow it up with a small prayer.

Something like, “Oh well.”

Speaking of ants, I’m really glad I haven’t run into these guys!!

Sixty Eight, Ain’t It Great?? Ummm… Sure!!

Something weird is happening today.  I’m reflecting on Life, the Universe, and Everything ( the meaning of which is embedded in the number 42 for those in the know).  A most remarkable occurrence sprinkled itself into my life earlier this year. I turned 68 for the first time in my living life!! Well OK, this will be the only time I’ll turn 68 as far as I know. There was a time when this boy pondered the likelihood of living more than one life on this Earth; but I’ve long since veered away from the concept of reinfestation.  Or is that ream in carnation?  I dunno… my wife likes carnations.  Perhaps if I lived many lives I’d be reinfested with carnations?

On the other hand, a completely different occurrence showered itself into my life in 1962: our grandmother gave me an 8-transistor radio for my 8th birthday. That has absolutely nothing to do with being 68, but that event did indeed change my life forever. That beautiful receiver opened up a world of music to me, specifically rock and roll, which was all the rage in those days. Our father hated rock and roll, he was a classical music junky. Didn’t make him a bad person or anything… but his FM receiver really didn’t get much else in those days; and that’s the way he liked it.

I distinctly remember falling asleep with the radio carefully perched on my head so the speaker was right on my ear. Sounded much better than the earphone, and you didn’t have to turn it up very high to hear well. However, too often I’d wake up to a dead battery. That would have been a very sad thing; but Mom always seemed to make sure I had a battery for my radio.

For us kids, growing up on Long Island meant that there were two radio stations that really mattered: 77 WABC and 1010 WINS. We’d listen to DJs like Cousin Brucie and Murray the K with just a touch of echo added to their voices as they spun the latest records to our waiting ears. Artists like Bobby Vinton, Chubby Checker, Dion, The Everly Brothers, Elvis, Little Eva, and The Shirelles were just a few of them… and a couple years later a new band called The Beatles entered the scene. The 1960s evolved into a decade of immense social changes, and of course the music often reflected the spirits of us young punks. Some of us became hippies, some of us kept the hippie spirit alive deep inside but entered the work force to raise families.

So all that to say how happy I am to be 68 years old?? Well I could probably write a book about all of this stuff, but suffice it to say that this old hippie guy is, believe it or not, very happy to have traveled around the sun a whole 68 times. I mean hey, I’m blessed beyond belief with a loving family, amazing friends, and a debt-free retirement.  One thing that haunts me a bit though, is that 68 is getting powerfully close to 70.  So I think at that time I’ll officially be an old fart.  Maybe I am already!!

So my friends, here’s to old age. It ain’t so bad!! Life is very good for us really. Oh… and you know a cool thing about living for 6.8 decades?? We got turned on to lots of really good music. Not just rock.  When we were growing up there was lots of stuff on TV and radio from the 1920s, 1930s, and so on. Some pretty cool stuff back then!! And yes, today too!! This week, I’m posting a very small samples of music I’ve grown to love over the years. Music is a magical thing in my professional opinion.  Helps keep the blues away.  Soul food, ya know?  Hope you have a chance to check these out.

PEACE, LOVE, AND HUGS TO YOU ALL!!! You young whippersnappers!!!

Let’s see… how about a little Cab Calloway from 1934…

Maybe some Laurel and Hardy…  HUH???  Just watch.

Anybody remember Judy Canova?

Carmen Miranda… oh my I had the hots for her…

Like Peter, Paul, and Mary, I Dig Rock ‘n Roll Music.

Mojo Men… with a woman drummer in 1967!!

Oh and there’s other band I mentioned earlier… you may recognize them.

Here’s one I sang at work some times… Devo says it’s Time Out For Fun

Maybe by now you’re saying, “Lord!!! Enough already!!”  OK… one from Lorde, and that will be enough already.