Saturday, April 25, 2015


"I'm sorry," said the clerk in flower shop, "we don't have potted geraniums.  Could you use African violets instead?"
Replied the customer sadly, "No, it was geraniums my wife told me to water while she was gone."

Recently my neighbors across from me lost their dog. The dog was with them for 14 years and all the trials and tribulations a family goes through, faithfully at their side. It got me remembering my dog, ‘Happy’.

Happy was an admitted misnomer; she was anything but happy with strangers, she just didn't like them. Being a house dog we never let her bark outside, she was trained to ring a bell at the foot of the door she used when she needed to conduct her business and only went out on a leash for walks.

But ‘Happy’ was a smart dog: she was a faithful companion and the only dog that loved lettuce. We never fed her from table scraps so her diet was always the same, and this bothered me, since she was a pedigree American Cocker Spaniel that was the order of the vet. But once in a while, when TLW (The Little Woman) wasn’t looking, Id feed her (Happy) something new, and she would go wild for it. While cleaning the plates off into the garbage, TLW would be looking the other way and I would slip her a piece of meat, or some pasta or broccoli. She loved it, and we became the best of friends for it.

Then one Saturday morning:

“Yes dear.”
“You awake?”
“Yes Dear”
“I went on my computer and it said I had to shut down!”
“Yes Dear”
“So I tried again!”
“Yes Dear”
“I got the same message so I went upstairs to your computer.”
“Yes Dear”
“Oh, by the way, your computer told me something needed more power!”
“Yes Dear”
“And when you go downstairs, Happy was barking at the pool, I think there is an animal in it!”
“Yes Dear”

So I shower and dress, and head downstairs, and stop at the den sliding door. I look out but don’t see anything and think it was a bird that bothered Happy.

“Yes Dear”
“I think the animal is at the top of the pool steps!”
“Yes Dear”

I go out and investigate, and sure enough, without my first cup of coffee yet, I see what she is barking about, her and Happy.

There, huddled in a corner of the steps of the pool sits a rat! Alive and well but shaking! Now I have to think of how to get rid of it. I see my net on a long poll near by and I pick it up and get a plan. I will scoop the critter, and turn the net to hold the rat in so he can’t escape. I do so, and now I institute my part B of the genius plan, I move the net to a deep part of the pool and hold it down. I look at the rat while I hold down the net, and he’s looking up at me, waiting. I stay my ground and now he is getting anxious! He starts to move around in the net a little, looking for a way out. He is not going out on his own that was for sure. He becomes more frantic and desperate, seeking to escape, when sudden, little bubbles start to rise to the top, from the net. I wait, soon he is slowing down, almost slow motion in movement, when in the end mercy comes to him, and he drowns!

I pull the net and think, what if he is trying to fool me. I look closely but he is dead. Now I have to dispose of him.

I go into the house where TLW is sitting on her recliner.

“Did you get rid of it?”
“Yes Dear, but I need some kind of container, like a margarine tub.”

We look and I find a Kool-Whip tub in the closet and take it out. I realize that it is too small for the rat and return into the den with the tub in hand.


“Darn” I think to myself, now I better NOT toss it at her.”

“Yes Dear, but don’t worry, the rat is larger than the tub. I need something larger to toss at you, I mean into the garbage.”

“Yes Dear”

And so, I faced down a rat, a drowning one! RIP (Rat In Place)!

Happy had saved the day! We had cornered and brought to justice a rat!

My neighbor was lucky, at least his dog died in his home, Happy died at the vets, and sadly I witnessed a heart crunching set of eyes go out for ever, and remember the scene like it was an hour ago.

RIP Happy.


Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should, it will keep you from barking and disturbing the neighbors!


Friday, April 24, 2015

&^^%^$^ &^$^&) **&^% AND I MEAN IT!

A priest is walking down the street one day when he notices a very small boy trying to press a doorbell on a house across the street.
However, the boy is very small and the doorbell is too high for him to reach.
After watching the boys’ efforts for some time, the priest moves closer to the boy's position.
He steps smartly across the street, walks up behind the little fellow and, placing his hand kindly on the child's shoulder leans over and gives the doorbell a solid ring.
Crouching down to the child's level, the priest smiles benevolently and asks, "And now what, my little man?"
To which the boy replies, "Now we run!"

Last Sunday morning late, I got a phone call from my old friend from Pakistan, Anonymous. Anonymous calls regularly, at least once a week to warn me about my ‘KUMPOOOTER’ ready to give me instructions on how to ride this virus he has detected and how I will need to rid myself of it. A nice enough gesture for sure.

Phone rings:

Me: “Ello?” (I know who it is: it’s Anonymous!)

Anonymous: “Alow, dis is a call to advise hue your Kumpoooter is at risk. We have been monitoring your Kumpoooter and you have a serious virus.”

Me: “I do????? How did that happen, my God!”

Anonymous: Yes, you need to rid it immediately.”

Me: “What do I need to do???”

Anonymous: “Hue have a PC, right?”

Me: “Yes.” (No I don’t I have a Mac.)

Anonymous: “Yes, I can see, You need to go to the bottom left of your screen, you see the… (Starts to give me directions as I pretend to be following them.)

Anonymous: “Now with the control key press down the option key, what do you see?”

Me. “Nothing,”

Anonymous: “Nothing? The screen didn’t change???!!!”

Me: “Nope.”

Anonymous: “HOO KAY, Go to the right of your screen and press…” (More instructions and I pretend I’m doing it)

Anonymous: “What do you see now?”

Me: “OH! I see a message!”

Anonymous: “A message?!”

Me: “Yup.”
Anonymous: “What does it say???”

Me: “It says you are full of S#!%”

Anonymous: “WHAT!!!??? What does it say???”

Me: “It says you are full of S#!%, wait a minute, it also says this phone call is a lot of crap you &^^%^$^ &^$^&) **&^% hole! Why don’t you try getting a real job you thief?”

This goes on every time the morons call, looking to get into my computer to steal my identity, but I gave them who I thought they are.


Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should!


Thursday, April 23, 2015


Way back in the 90’s, when O.J. Simpson stood trial for the murder of his wife Nicole and her boyfriend Ronald Goldman, Simpson was acquitted of murder by the fact that the LA Police were incapable of presenting a case and their ineptitude made all the difference in whether Simpson was allowed to go free or not. Poor management of the facts and poor presentation of the truth were key factors in Simpson winning that case, since Justice was not served, it was manhandled. The LA Police on October 3, 1995 allowed OJ to walk free, and continue their ineptitude: the real legacy of the LA Police Department.

Before the Simpson case, there was another case of manhandled justice in a book about the murder of Adam Walsh, penned by a gentleman named Willis Morgan scheduled to be released in July of this year. The book: FRUSTRATED WITNESS tells of eye witnessed accounts of events that the Hollywood Florida Police failed to or refused to take into account in trying to solve this crime. A quote from the books website goes:

“As much as this book is a case for Jeffrey Dahmer being Adam Walsh’s murderer, it is equally a study of how the Hollywood, FL detectives conducted the homicide investigation, becoming the greatest ally and defender of America’s most notorious serial killer. "I have a problem with facts that don’t fit, with witnesses not called or used, with bungled investigations, and with cover-ups after the fact," the author writes. The author presents many, many witnesses who know they saw Dahmer. Packed with charts, diagrams, photos, and letters, this is the most extensive collection of records to date of the Adam Walsh case.”

The author has spent over 30 years putting this book together and over ten years in writing and investigations. Appearing on countless TV shows and in numerous print publications describing what he saw, 2010 found the author filing a lawsuit against the HPD, State Attorney's Office, and one of the detectives involved in the Adam Walsh case.

Mr. Morgan’s case against the HPD is really an expose’ of the ineptitude of the police in this case, and: “I have a problem with facts that don’t fit, with witnesses not called or used, with bungled investigations, and with cover-ups after the fact," Mr. Morgan writes. In spite of the witnesses, charts and evidence to prove a case that Dahmer did it, the police have turned on a deaf ear and blind eye with a muted tongue!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, "why is the bride dressed in white?"

"Because white is the color of happiness," her mother explained. "And today is the happiest day in her life."

The child thought about this for a moment. "So why is the groom wearing black?"

I have been watching a show called ‘Elementary’ a detective show featuring the newest Holmes and Watson team, a modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, with the detective now living in New York City, Holmes being a man with a foreign accent and Watkins his assistant being an Asian beauty.

Although I watch this show, I can’t for the life of me understand why they would copy something and make it less? FOLKS, ITS BEEN DONE BEFORE! Sherlock Holmes was better in its original format without the modernizing of the classic detective.

Every scene is done in the dark, the apartment, street, the sun room, all in the dark, I guess to create a mood. To make matters worse, you have to try to understand Holmes with his accent making things even darker. The plot is always complicated in the attempt to make it different from the original, but in my opinion it lacks imagination, when it copies something, I see many movies and TV dramas that prefer the dark, I guess because it saves money on the lighting bill!

But then that isn't the only show lacking in imagination: just watch the Odd Couple, a remake of a successful play, movie and TV show, talk about lack of imagination! Do people really need the same old premise done time and time again? Where do we run out of interest? I know I did.

Maybe I’m jut a cranky old man, but when I do watch TV, which is not often, I want some originality. Give me the Big Bang Theory, where all the characters are so strong, the dialogue funny or Downton Abbey where the costuming and story line although somewhat long, has its place, or give me Mad Men, and the sophistication of the late 60’s advertising world, captured extremely well.


Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should, it will enlighten your day!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015


While getting a checkup, a man tells his doctor that he thinks his wife is losing her hearing. The doctor says, "You should do a simple test. Stand about 15 feet behind your wife and say 'honey?’ Move 3 feet closer and do it again. Keep moving 3 feet closer until she finally responds." Remember how close you were when she gives you an answer. That will help me know how bad her hearing loss is.
About a month later the same guy is at the doctor again and the doctor asks, "Well, did you do that experiment with your wife's hearing?” The man says "yes". "How close did you get before she answered?" "Well, by the time I got about 3 feet away she just turned around and said "For the FIFTH TIME... WHAT???"

I wear two hearing aids. Being deaf is no picnic, and having lost most of my hearing at a tender age of 5, I have learned to try to compensate for the loss, while living a normal as possible life.

I lost my hearing when I came down with a severe case of mumps. In those days, doctors were not sophisticated enough to realize the ramification of a child with mumps, and what it could really mean. I can vividly remember the pain and anguish I had, recalling the suffering not only in my face and cheeks, but in my ears, how powerful the pain was to lead me into almost a hallucinated state of mind. I was so painful that I could not touch my face, or even lay my head down on its side. I had no idea at that point about emotional suffering but soon found out.

My parents thought for years that I was just plain stupid, that I couldn’t learn or understand anything, and that I would end up with nothing in my life and probably in some institution for learning disabled. I was sent to a Catholic school along with my older sister, who was considered the smart one, and I was headed for who knew where.

My Dad was perhaps the most disappointed in me, not only being unhappy, but also the blow to his ego was too much for him to comprehend or handle. Although it wasn’t my fault that I was deaf, I couldn’t blame him for the way he felt. In those days, no one individual knew or was educated enough to understand the crisis I was in. I think my Mom had inkling that something was wrong, but she too was a severe critic and greatly disappointed. Then one day something magical happened. We moved! We moved away from Brooklyn, and out of the school, onto Long Island and a whole new world. A world filled with trees, and water and sunshine and a school nurse named Miss Wager. Miss Wager had worked with the deaf, and I was given a hearing test, the first of many. I was 10 years old, and this was my first hearing test. She marveled that I had survived as long as I did, had gotten anywhere with language and when my parents finally understood, life became a little easier for me around the house.

Having some friends, but not many since I was afraid to make any being deaf, I could hear, but only up close and not well. I was becoming a loner by choice because I had to. I would spend time watching TV or reading, or playing ball. TV was watched only when I could watch alone, not when the family watched, because I needed it “Too loud”. When I was a sophomore in high school, I was sent to lip reading classes in Mineola Hospital where they discovered I could minimally read lips, and with circumstances, I could figure out what people were saying to a degree.

I took a huge step and decided that I really wanted to go to college and get away from the closeness that my parents lived in, and try to open up a new world for myself. I really wanted to teach history, but knew that if I did it would require not only teaching, but also listening, and I didn’t think that students would want to accommodate a deaf teacher. So I took the next thing I could think of, my love of art and drawing. I took a test at the Art Student’s League where I was immediately accepted, my Dad helping me to put together a portfolio of drawings and paintings. Yes Dad had finally crossed over to the other side. But I wasn’t happy with the idea of just becoming an artist in the commercial field. Not only that, I wanted to learn something besides how to draw. I looked up schools in the area and found New York Tech, took an entrance exam and passed. I was in a four-year college, with the promise of a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The teachers at the school never caught on that I was deaf, and I was often punished severely for not knowing something, not understanding someone, and not responding immediately. It took me some time to learn how to lip read and realize I had to pay more attention to what was being said in class, and really feared missing something, which was quite often. One of the reasons I hated school so much as a young child can readily be explained.

Since those days things have changed considerably for me. Professionally I got a great job in Manhattan atop a skyscraper, a corner office no less, overlooking the city of New York, designing and learning new things, and fudged my way into making a lovely woman believe in me. Suddenly Dad had more use for me, Mom never relented but at least stuck by me, giving me encouragement. I wonder if she felt that having me believe that she accepted my excuses, I would then stop trying.

So today after all these years, and my life for the most part over, I look back on things and remember them as a movie, I sit and watch the events that did unfold, knowing full well the ending, crying and laughing at others and myself. My passion now is my granddaughter and her parents, my daughter and other son, my wife, and what they will think of me when I’m gone.

I tried my best, gave it all I had, tried to help people where I could and I know that probably people will resent me for it anyway, but I tried.


Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should, you'll develop an ear for quality comedy!


Monday, April 20, 2015


A speeding driver was pulled over by a policeman.
The driver asked,
 "Why was I pulled over when I wasn't the only one speeding."
The police replied, "Have you ever been fishing?"
The man then said, "yes".
"Have you ever caught all the fish?" asked the policeman.

I was eleven years old and on my way to Hell. I made friends with a fellow who wanted to be a priest or so his family convinced him, and sent to him to a seminary of some kind at the age of 12. I think it was a Catholic boarding school for young boys wishing to be priest, the whole thing is a little fuzzy in my mind.

All, forever lost!
He went away from late August or early September until the first holiday of the fall season: Thanksgiving. We hooked up Thanksgiving Day after I had a rather large helping of Thanksgiving dinner with all the so-called trimmings and so we started to walk and talk and catch up with each other’s lives. I was especially interested in his stay away from home and how he was doing. I figured he had the inside track to heaven and I was impressed.

As he walked and talked, acting cool he came upon the idea of smoking, and said he had taken up the habit in his new school. He told me all the guys were doing it and so he did also. Then he asked me if I was interested in trying it. Me, being a muttonhead said ‘Yes’, after all he was older so he was cool, how could I turn down such an offer?

“Meet me in our old fort in the woods and I’ll be right back.” He said. I set off to the old dug out hole in the ground with some tree logs laying over it we called a fort and he soon returned with two Winston cigarettes. He had slipped them out of his mother’s pack of cigarettes and so we lit up. As he lit my cigarette there was an instant bonding as friends forever, we were doing the forbidden, and I was sure if I got caught my father would be mourning my lose while in jail for my murder, while my mother would be readying her wooden spoon to rest on my head a few times.

“Now when you drag, you gotta inhale!” said my instructor in crime and juvenile delinquency, my hero of sorts and new mentor. I held the cigarette like they did in the movies, just like Dad did and took my first deep drag.

AS it headed down, there was a sudden feeling that something was reaching from deep down in my chest and was pulling my head into my lungs, the feeling was so intense it took my breath away, while my fellow smoker just dragged away. Suddenly the world was spinning, as my eyes could not focus because of the speed of motion I was witnessing, while my stomach now took on the challenge to spin even faster! I couldn’t shame myself and either pass out of toss the dinner, and so I said I had to rush home because I forgot to do something, I’d be right back!

Rushing home I burst into the house and past family and guest and headed to the bathroom, where I just made it, depositing a drumstick, sweet potatoes, corn and God knows what else!

You might say I tossed my cookies!
As I finally got over the attack, I sat for a moment and now faced a dilemma. Do I have more Thanksgiving Day dinner or do I go back out to throw up again. Dinner or cigarette, this debates in my young inexperienced mind for a few minutes, and decided: I would go out again; I needed to save face.  I’m pretty sure I made a deal that day with God, promising him everything, how I would behave for now on, not keeping the money my father gave me for the collection plate on Sunday and even obeying my parents, if there were no cigarettes when I reached the fort and my friend. Teasing my sisters was off the table, after all, I did need entertainment and Dad hogged the TV. When I got to the fort, my good pal was already gone. I wonder if he was upchucking like I did?


Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should, you'll be glad you inhaled!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

$.28 + $.99 = $1.27!

A man moves from his apartment into a larger one in a newer neighborhood. He goes out one day looking for a shoemaker with a pair of shoes he wishes to have repaired. Finding one, he enters and the shoemaker takes his shoes and tells him to come back on Tuesday for his repaired shoes. The man goes home and drops the ticket into a draw and forgets about it.

Twenty years pass and the man is moving once again, and as he is emptying his drawers, comes upon the ticket from the shoemaker. He decides to see if the shoemaker might have the shoes still after 20 years. He returns to the shoemaker who is now grey and older looking and hands him the ticket. The shoemaker takes one look at it and says, “Oops, come back on Tuesday!”

Indeed it does and I learned that from a brown paper bag written in black crayon.

When I was about 7 years of age, my mother would give me money to get a quart of milk, a 1/2-pound of bologna or some other goods that she needed immediately. In those days in the early 50’s, it was common practice to visit the local grocer and purchase what you needed. I would give him my verbal order and he would fill it, then on the brown paper bag, write down the costs of each item then sum it up and circle the bottom line. I would watch and realize that the man was a genius, not using his fingers to add as I did! He had a claw on a long handle and when you needed something out of the way and stored on high, he would take out his claw and snatch it off of the shelf, I watched this and was fascinated by it.

Once a week my sister and I would go to the local butcher shop and give our list Mom prepared for the weekly meat order and once again a brown paper bag was produced with neatly wrapped meats. The butcher would cut the meat fresh as he took the order, wrapped it in paper and then more butcher paper with folded corners tucked in and set aside. He would take a large brown paper bag and do his addition, skimming through the numbers like a human calculator and add up everything, and we’d pay it. Once again, he didn’t use his fingers. Hanging from the ceiling were exotic meats and cheeses that he sold, fresh off the boats and ready to buy, you saw this and knew you were in a butcher shop.

These were life’s lessons, how to arrange your numbers and how to add without using your fingers and toes!

The green grocer had the same routine for his goods and that was the life of the mom and pop stores.  In those days where money was not so plentiful, you went to a shoemaker who didn’t make shoes but repaired them. You fixed your old shoes after you wore out the soles, got new heels and soles and they were polished and looked like new, saving the cost of buying shoes. The distinctive black cat in the window and the smell of the shoe polish all made you know where you were! His little anvil and hammer as he tacked and sometimes sewed shoes while you entered made an impression on me: I was watching a tradesman do his thing, slicing the extra rubber from the soles he just put on a customer’s shoes.  

"Shoes to set my feet a-dancing, dancing,
Dancing, dancing all the day.
Shoes to set my feet a-dancing, dancing,
Dancing all my cares away."

Then he tapped and he stitched
For his fingers were bewitched
And he sewed a dream
Into every seam." 

You wanted cake, you went to a baker in a bakery, and when you entered, the smells of fresh bread and confections made you hungry and you bought more than you needed or intended to buy. You ordered your bread and he or she took it over to a slicer and in one mechanical motion sliced a loaf of bread for you, the whole loaf, all at once, wrapped in a white bag or box with red and white striped string!

These little vignettes were part of my life as a child, that I watched slowly disappear, into a one stop shopping place. Perhaps for the exception of shoes, you can buy all the above-mentioned in one store. Pretty convenient for one, but for me a little sad in a way, I miss those little things that comprised life as a child. Those little things in a way told a story of sorts, identified the shop keeper and his trade.


Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should, you'll learn numbers!