Saturday, February 24, 2018


Being a diabetic can be a real downer. You take the medications, but you can't seem to stick to a diabetic diet of sawdust and water, you exercise even though you hate it and have the doctor tell you the meds aren't working enough, you need higher dosages, and more or new ones. The exercises only make you arthritis worst and so you have to curtail some things in your routine and you feel guilty about it.

Then one day you discover you need to inject yourself like a drug addict, and so you do. The doctor calls and says the meds are at the max, let's start with needles.

The irony of it all is that the further you delve into trying to stop the progression of the disease, the worse you feel. You realize that your time is running out, that there is nothing you can really do to stem the tide of the illness.

Things like breakfast on a Sunday morning in a dinner with your wife is now questionable, and that is a downer. It adds to the gloom and doom. I shouldn't eat pancakes because pancakes are bad for me. I love pancakes! Eggs? Scramble them and only one piece of dry toast, preferably from sawdust.

I don't drink my Jack Daniels Manhattans anymore, too much sugar, but do have a couple of glasses of red wine. Miss my cocktails.

One should not eat red meat, love a good steak! There is the kidney that has some problem is I have to drink a lot of water according to the doctor, high blood pressure and high cholesterol all contribute to the pill count. I've already had a triple by-pass and a carotid artery cleared, an operation that leaves a scar and numbness across your face. My right foot has been in pain since 1967, over 50 years!

Not to complain but, life is a pain in the foot, a pisser, and frankly, in spite of it all, I intend to find a way to laugh, probably at myself.

On the positive side, I have a new grandson coming soon and I will see my beautiful granddaughter next month. If I can just live long enough.

Friday, February 23, 2018


Maybe I'm being a Pollyanna, thinking that the youth of this country will take us to the level as adults we need to be. My hope is that they will show us, adults, what we need to do is change what we collectively believe.

The rising of their collective voices supports my hope, I see and hear them, this makes me feel better that the youth of this country, tomorrow's America is really now! They, with their clear minds, can see distinctly what the problem is. It is simple, it is a solution, stop the NRA from contributing to politician's coffers, get realistic about bans on assault rifles, and please, don't give us crap about this or that automatic weapon isn't really an assault rifle.

Time after time, interview after interview, the call is clearly heard as the students, the victims of our inaction and reluctance, call us out for our failing them. The parents? They rage and plead and tell us why? Why did this murder that is in Congress' hands had to occur?

But the collective conscience of the youth, the teenagers who are speaking out is set to demand that change is enacted and that the consecrated halls of the Capitol Dome are where it must begin. That we put our children first, not only for today but for tomorrow, when my grandchildren and yours attend schools and my children send those kids off to learn to feel secure that school is a safe place, not a target range for some manic to take aim at.

So, from this horrific event, I feel good about the youth of America, they show sense, the good old-fashioned kind, the common sense. They are tomorrow's leaders, I'm proud of them.

There is nothing wrong with owning guns. Thirty and forty years ago there were no issues, what changed? What changed is the availability of assault rifles became prevalent and advertised, and when we do that we make a change we don't see.

Only 1% to a little over that of mass shootings come from assault guns, and that is an NRA argument to keep them. What they don't argue is the disproportionate numbers it kills in victims.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Victims of the NRA
I was just on Facebook, and to think that it would even allow itself to post things from the NRA, let alone a recruitment for new members, offering a free gift at this time, with all the horrible news. Students of the Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School shooting rising in anger and disgust, proclaiming the truth, that the NRA is not protecting anything but the bottom line.

The audacity that the NRA would even show their face after this latest tragedy makes most people's blood boil. We have lost children, to guns that are easy to get and guns that should not be allowed to be sold. How many more children will be lost before someone comes along like a POTUS to lead a change in our sick culture? What we have is a President who is in over his head, who can't lead by example, has lost the respect of the people who respect the office.

What has happened to us as a country? Where did we go wrong, where did we fail? Why?

We have a business, the NRA that has a chokehold on Congress. A money machine that applies its wealth to further its wealth under the guise of the 2nd Amendment. This amendment was designed to legally allow 18th Century America to arm their militia against foreign and domestic intrusions into their community, it was not designed for individuals to own assault weapons.

But like I said before, the children we have let down by allowing the NRA to exist, are starting a rolling storm across the country, a movement that hopefully will change the tide once and for all, and we can finally ban assault rifles.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


The crazies are out! Yes, they are!

Yesterday I went t my gym and got on an exercise apparatus that requires you sit and peddle. It tells you how far you are going, how fast and you see your heart rate as you peddle. The faster you peddle the more the number goes up. There is a little TV that is mounted on top of the readout so you can spend the time being bored by the news.

As I am serenely peddling away there are few open apparatus that no one is using. Suddenly, this woman shows up in her pink hat, Capri's and sweatshirt. Immediately she starts talking to the machine, somewhat angrily. I keep pedaling, trying not to let her catch me. She mounts and starts her exercise.

For a moment, I thought I was in a porn show or movie or some sex den.  As she starts she is making noises, like guttural groans, grunts, panting and sounding like she is orgasmic in her experience If I didn't know better, I would swear someone was with her on that seat.

Minding my business, I pedal away. I try to pedal faster, maybe I can get by her, but the damned machine is stationary.

Suddenly she looks at me and starts to complain about something on the TV monitor, like it matters to me, indicating that some kind of common sense was needed and asked I opinion.  I shake my head "Yes" and continue on my way. Now I am worried she will want to be my friend. She doesn't realize I don't make friends at the gym, that is where I go to work out, not socialize.

Finally, she jumps off the equipment and leaves. I wonder if I am sweating from the pedaling I'm doing or from fear of having to be her friend.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


There are commercials out there on the TV that seem to get reactions of annoyance out of me.

Case in point: the furniture salesman, everything he sells is $999, COMPLETE! He uses ordinary women he has a crush on and thinks it sells. It may. He used to use the NY Giants football team logo and adornments to associate himself with a winner, he hasn't this past year, the Giants were horrible.

Then there is Roberto. Roberto plays soccer for some team from somewhere. He's in town for some game Roberto is sculpted by Michaelangelo, chiseled from granite. He walks around the hotel he stays at in his underwear and does it after he's done eating. The hotel help takes his picture in his shorts so they send it out via I-phone to the world. Both men and women get excited, I don't, I think the cable provider who set this up needs to move on to another attempt to sell their service, not some soccer player in his skivvies.

There are SUV commercials that scare the Hell out of me. They depict superhuman events, space technologies that make the viewer wonder if they don't fly too. Superman flights and crazy racecar drivers turning and spinning, doing trick turns and stops. Will all this accommodate my granddaughter? How does it really handle in the snow, going uphill or on an icy road? Tell me that.

The country is so much into the world of technological advancements in audio and visual effects, it forgets about its real innovations that mean more than how high or fast the car flies.

Monday, February 19, 2018


A movement is sweeping the country, the movement of reason, and it comes not from Washington or some Senate chamber, but from the schoolrooms and fields of high school students across the nation. They are the voice of reason, they are starting to make a difference.

All too often we ignored them as adults, they don't matter, a 401K does, a bottom line does and so does the right to carry an assault weapon does. But our most precious commodity doesn't, "Now is not the time to discuss gun control" as some might say.

Interviewing teenagers from the horror of the Florida massacre recently that killed the cream of the crop, 17 of our youth, one interview really stood out, the plea to stop the killing. The statement most revealing was that the adults had let them, the students down. The words missing from that statement were: ‘Once again'.

Soon, the time is coming to discuss this madness and we better listen. These so-called children are lending something to us adults we should all respect and heed, that common sense may become common with this new generation, that America will be back in good hands once again. Maybe we should stop and listen, lean forward and shut all the distractions of our lives off and pay attention. Listen to what they say and how they say it. We owe them that. We owe them a deep apology for what we have in our selfishness have created and done to them.

Come this March there will be a rally in Florida, and hopefully, it will grow across our country from Florida to the state of Washington. And while these ‘Kids' are at it, they can teach us about hate, how when you pass through the color, there lies bone and heart and soul, colorless and breathing. Maybe they can teach us about love, what the concept of Christianity really means, not as a separator of different beliefs in God, but that God exists among us all.

I remember hearing these lyrics once and looked them up, they are written by a lady named Isla Grant. Just read them, they say it all.

"They are crying out for peace around the world
They are telling us to stop the hurt and pain
Their smiles can melt the coldest heart
Their tears can pull your world apart
Why don't we listen to the children

Why can't you see the world their eyes can see
There is no room for hate or jealousy
And color means nothing to them
To a child, another is a friend
Why don't we listen to the children

Why don't we listen, to what they try to say
Make a world of peace for them to live in
Take a leaf out of the book
They read to us each day
Why don't we learn a lesson from the children

So everyone around the world join hands
And spread the word of love across the land
Rejoice and live in harmony
And pray that peace, at last, will be
They need the help of you and me, our children

They are crying out for peace around the world
They are telling us to stop the hurt and pain
Their smiles can melt the coldest heart
Their tears can pull your world apart
Why don't we listen to the children"


Sunday, February 18, 2018


Grandma &  JoeJoe

The Street Where She Lived
Grandma Frances had a birthday every January until she died in 1991 at the age of 97! If she had taken better care of herself, she would have lived longer! But no, she insisted on eating red meats, spicy cheeses, and hard salami, wine and often got emotional. At least she didn't smoke.

Until the day she died, she was a nutritionist's nightmare, a living testimony to bad habits.

As a young teenager, I went with Dad into Brooklyn one Saturday to have his taxes made out by a friend of the family. It was tax time, and he decided to visit "Grandma", as we called her after having his income scrutinized by this friend of the family. Arriving at Grandma's house on Fulton Street, we parked the car along the curb and almost under the shadow of the el, stepping over the grating for the IND line that ran under the street, the noise saying: ‘Grandma'. By then there was deterioration of the old neighborhood occurring, so in some ways, it was a sad visit.

Grandma was all excited to see us, in her floral apron and black dress (rehearsing for when she would become a widow) and immediately grabbed my two cheeks (surrounding my nose) and with her index and middle finger, squeezed until I dropped to my knees, where she then made us stay for dinner, even though she had eaten!

Racing down her long hallway that ran adjacent to the railroad flat rooms of the bottom floor, she threw a couple of steaks in a wire holder, dropping then over an open flame on a gas stove in her basement, or cellar as we called it. As cellars went, this one was well-stocked with supplies for a nuclear attack, wine, canned tomato sauce, a refrigerator, sink, pickled eggplant and peppers and of course, various holy pictures that adorned the crude concrete texture of the footprint of the building. The smell of the meat cooking was overpowering my ability to reason, let alone my ability to speak, as my saliva activated at an uncontrollable flow, spraying instead of saying! When she returned, she took out a crusty loaf of Italian bread, some hard salami, and a hard cheese with a gallon of wine, to try to control my salivation problems.

The time it takes to say salad, she had the homemade wine, bread, cheese, and salami along with the best salad ever made, from Grandpa's homemade wine vinegar. A tasty vinegar that always made a simple salad a treat!

Grandma knew how to live, and was very generous.

Often when Dad announced the coming of grandma for a visit, once we calmed Mom down, we anticipated her stately arrival. Something like Queen Victoria arriving at the royal palace, she came usually with an entourage of aunts who, like Grandma expected to eat. To further this expectation which was greater than Hemingway's, she brought along with her cheeses, salami, and a gallon each of wine and wine vinegar, Italian bread (The countryside didn't make Italian bread like Brooklyn) roasted peppers and sometimes canned string beans. With all she did bring, she would preside center table and dispense in Italian, words of wisdom as I sat in awe of her.

As she ate she would look at me and say:

"Joe-joe, you too skinny, mangia! Why you no eater a more?"

Meanwhile, Dad was trying to remember all the hiding places the food was because all I did was eat! I tried to convey this to grandma in a diplomatic way, but Dad was within arm and earshot. And so, when her visit was over, we all respectfully escorted her to the door, with endless kissing of aunts and ladies in waiting, cheeks getting another workout and grandma's: "Joe-joe, you too skinny, mangia! Why you no eater a more?"

I miss those days, the times spent with that generation were magical, someday I will tell you about Grandpa, a man for all seasons and jobs that Grandma assigned him.