Friday, July 25, 2014


In 1996 I redesigned my house, taking my existing structure and adding on a 17’ x 17’ extension, with a skylight and large double window crowned with a half circle window. Rather than move to a bigger place we decided it would make more sense to just expand. I hired a contractor and he came and added on the extension while reappointing the other rooms under my plan. The town to meet the building codes as it was being built inspected the new room.

Now we are looking to move to a smaller place with less maintenance. We have been toying with the idea and finally I went to town hall to see about a certificate of occupancy for the extension, something the contractor was suppose to get, so I thought but didn’t. DO I HATE THE CONTRACTOR? WHY YES, HOW DO YOU KNOW?

Walking into the building that houses the permits is somewhat daunting. It is a multi-story building with a ceiling that runs up several stories. Its canyon like appearance seems to swallow you as you make your way across this enormous waiting room to a long counter where two women stand to greet you and tell you: you have to wait. DO I HATE THE CONTRACTOR? WHY YES, HOW DO YOU KNOW?

When I am finally called I tell the lady what I need, she asks a few questions and pulls out the necessary forms for me to fill out, along with a long list of things I will need to attach to the application! There are: C.O.’s, surveys and copies of certificates, just enough paper work and expense to make the whole process unpleasant. DO I HATE THE CONTRACTOR? WHY YES, HOW DO YOU KNOW?

Taking the paper work I leave the massive building, thinking as I look up one more time at the huge edifice, do THEY have a C.O. for this place?



Thursday, July 24, 2014


One of the biggest problems I have in life is people who come up to me and say: “Hi, Mr. DelBloggolo!” The problem is I don’t know who they are. This of course is a reason for me to lie, and pretend I know them, after all, they know me.

All too often it happens with staff at AHRC/Suffolk, the organization I support and am on the Board of Directors for. It gives life and meaning to my daughter who suffers from developmental disabilities and gives my wife and I peace of mind for her future.

Apparently I’ve given too many speeches where once I left them crying, and so one day while out at Westhampton Beach facility, one of the staff passing by said: “Hi Mr. DelBloggolo! You don’t remember me but you made me cry when you gave a speech at Staff Appreciation Day!” I guess I should stop giving speeches.

The male staff always shake my hand and ask how I’m doing, and the female staff always ask for Mrs. DelBloggolo. Neighbors I don’t know by name but do by sight will give me a raised eyebrow, and a quick semi-nod and we go peacefully along our way. People from the church will do the same unless I know them by name.

But my biggest failing is being introduced to strangers and I immediately forget their name. To complicate matters, I will give them a name I think they should have. I will call them that and finally, they will say their real name. I can very easily embarrass myself.

I understand that I am not alone in my angst, my pain and confusion that many people go through the same thing. One suggestion is to give the person being introduced to you an object or thought that can tie into the real name. Then when you see that person, you automatically think of the object and that will make you remember. That is fine, except, I always forget the object.

 Birth Injury Guide

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


In my hometown, the place is crawling with diners. That’s right, that American institution we all know so well and love too, are all over the town. To be an American Institution these days, it can’t be owned by born Americans, and besides, that idea is just down right silly!

We have so many diners in my town that I know when the Greek festivals are coming to which churches. Don’t get me wrong we don’t have a very large or noticeable Greek population in my town, in fact the diners out number the Greek population. The Greek churches are spaced about 65 miles apart, so if you are a religious Greek, you better be prepared to travel a distance, and if you can’t find the church, you just pull over and ask directions at the nearest diner. It helps if you speak Greek.

To mix things up, I like to on occasion visit a different diner: this makes the other diners nervous, so that when I show up, they remember to keep filling my coffee cup. So, this Sunday past, we shook it up and visited a diner across town, across the Expressway and into the heart of town itself. Entering on a Sunday morning at 7:00 am, there is no one there but the owner, the waiter, the owner’s daughter and the owner’s son, who buses the tables. The daughter, an attractive young lady who ‘mans’ the cash register smiles at me and I make a mental note that we gotta go back, soon!

Now I have a traditional Greek breakfast, consisting of two scrambled eggs, sausage, extra crisp fries and rye toast, with extra butter on the side. As Greek as it is, I still order it in English, because after all, this still is America.

Do Americans own all the diners here?
But making distinctions is what it is all about. What separates one Greek diner from another? (Greek diner is a redundancy) The eggs at one place may sit on the griddle longer than another, the size or taste of the sausages will definitely differ, the frequency of fill ups of coffee, and finally, the overall service as well as the price all figure into the DelBloggolo rating system. It greatly helps if the waitress is friendly and the waiter does his job right.

The culinary rating system by the editorial board at DelBloggolo is very simple, and like all systems it tells you what is best. Diners are rated on a 1 to 5 grape leaf system. One grape leaf is the lowest and five being the highest rating.

I wonder if there are any diners in Greece?


Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Why, did you?

Sorry, but the month of July is filled with birthdays it seems. There is my great nephew Stephen, TLW (The Little Women), My niece Christine, my sister-in-laws Maureen, Sara and Angela, and a whole host of friends from both the past and on Facebook. It seems that this late in the month is an odd time to mention them, but that is the case.

My birthday too, is in July, and I share it with my great nephew on the same day. Although there seems to be some disagreement now among scholars on which day in July is America’s birthday, it still is in July.

Birthdays seem to be a big deal if you work and are a member of a union: they give you the day off. When I worked, people would always pay for my lunch, as was the tradition in my field for the most part. But as I get older, I’m no longer interested in having it acknowledged, celebrated or remembered, because it points out to the fact that I'm GETTING OLD! Who needs to be reminded they are getting old?

As a youngster, people used to say when I got to be their age I would think differently. The statement always offended me because I thought I was old enough and smart enough to be rational. But of course rationalization is only good if you apply some experience.

I never personally liked the month of July, with the heat and humidity, I rather have a day in October or March or any day in between, the heat gets me down. But not as much as a birthday will.

I discovered that my memory is starting to fade into fuzzy facts in some cases. I watch very little television, but one show I watch every night is Jeopardy, because it is supposed to keep my mind sharp. I get most of the answers providing I know the category well enough to have general knowledge, but if it is highly scientific or specialized, forget it. But what is happening is although I know the answers say to a certain question about an individual: I can’t get the name out. For instance the name of a certain well known architect and designer of buildings, I visited his birth home in Chicago, saw his studio in person, own some of his books of his design theories, Frank Lloyd Wright could not come out of my mouth or to mind!

OK, so I try to do other things to keep my mind sharp, like crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles and any kind of mind game that requires some deductive reasoning. I don’t want to get any more senile than I am already.

One of the things that I hate the most is this: and it happened often when I worked. I go to a meeting with say a few of my colleagues or assistants, and I introduce them to a group at the meeting, when suddenly I can’t remember one of MY co-workers last names! I draw a blank! Try squeezing out of that! And being introduced to more than 2 people and I will forget everyone’s name, including my own!

Going into the next room for something can be an adventure, wondering what I went into the room for in the first place.

So, please, no happy birthday greetings for me, I’d rather stay young.

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Monday, July 21, 2014


You’ve heard of the Hundred Year War, which didn’t take a hundred years, now there is something called the 43-Year War WHICH DOES FEEL LIKE 100 YEARS. This war has been fought daily, ground given and taken, inch by inch, it is the marital war of the century, and no one has won, although most of the battles are ceded by one side.

That war of which I speak occurs within the confined of my house, bedroom and den, and even plays out in the car. Now you will understand that wars of this nature would play out differently, not based on philosophy, but on the room temperature!

I’m HOT, and she’s COLD, the makings for a real war!

It usually starts early in the AM, as I check on the pool, the lawn and put out to the curb what needs to go there. I leave the sliding door open and the screen in place. It is about 68º F and she is right behind me, closing it: “I’m cold!”

If we are in the car on a cool day, not cold or uncomfortable, I get: “Put on the heart, I’m cold.” Of course!

Then I see other women and they do the very same thing! It’s 98º F out and we are going to dinner. What does she do? Why take a sweater! Of course, and what do I see in the restaurant, they are all wearing sweaters and the husbands are dying to get cool, it’s one of life’s mysteries.

In the evening, when I retire from a long sweaty day, I look forward to the air-conditioned bedroom, the cool sheets and the relief of all the daily roasting. You know who comes up and I have to watch as she raises the temperature in the ac.

Keep your eyes opened in the obituaries, my name will be there with the explanation or cause of death: ‘HE DROWNED IN HIS OWN SWEAT!’

A man joined the priesthood.  The order he joined could not speak for seven years.  Then they could only say 2 words.

The first seven years passed and they went into a small room.  His 2 word were "too cold".

The next seven years passed and they took him back into the small room and his 2 words were "bad food".

The next seven years passed they took him back into the small room and his 2 words were "I quit".

"Good," they said, "all you have done is complain."

 Birth Injury Guide


Sunday, July 20, 2014


Getting to work everyday in the 1970’s required taking the Long Island Railroad to and from New York City. It was a little tough because you got up early in the pre-dawn and raced to find a parking space in the parking lot of the train station, if you used a major station. I used both the quiet little hamlet of Bellport, and when I knew I was going to be late, the Patchogue R.R. Station. I got a container of coffee and maybe something to eat, and then a newspaper to cover my fingers in newsprint, found a seat and waited for someone who was weight challenged to find me along the way and sit next to or on top of me.

I would read the NY Times until I got close to Jamaica Station, where I would then nap until getting to Hunters Point Avenue where I got a subway train (No. 7, Flushing Line) switched at Grand Central for the E or F train to Lexington Avenue. Climbing the subway steps to the street at 50th and Lexington Avenue, I would walk the few blocks, dodging pedestrian and car traffic alike until I reached my building on 54th and Lexington Avenue. As I walked this route, I would look for a ‘nut for the day’, some individual who demonstrated why he and I should both be put away where we wouldn’t harm ourselves. Usually he was a religious nutcase handing out pamphlets about eternal doom and my need for salvation. I of course was NEVER disappointed.

Then every so many years a railroad strike would loom and a need for alternate plans were set in motion. Being how I was a friendly chap, I made friends on the railroad easily, and along with male friends got into a car pool. We each took turns driving, and along with three others, poured into my car at least once a week. Driving a 4 and ½ seat Camaro, was crowded but no one got pregnant. It made for passing time and mileage, even if we sat still, well… fun! Cigars and cigarettes were lit for the long haul and never did anyone complain. These rail strikes usually occurred in late fall and would occasionally slide into the New Year.

This led to new friends: new social commitments and I loved the camaraderie. But everything we did became a way to link, certain expressions, inside jokes and rip roaring sidesplitting stories became a norm. I would listen to the media and feel sorry for those commuters who struggled, had a hard time of it and did it alone. In fact, when the strike was over, I for one missed the fun, but we grew as a group on the same train car every day on our way to work.

 Birth Injury Guide


Saturday, July 19, 2014


I hate going to doctor’s appointments. I usually wait and sometimes the wait takes a long time. But the wait is not as bad as is the personalities of some of these guys.

Dr. Strangeglove
Now my GP, Dr. Strangeglove, has the personality of a bi-polar political grouch. Yes, he seethes over the latest Liberal policies and if I say the word ‘Lawyer’ he goes into a rant, a rave and insurance companies have no place in civilized society. They should all be rounded up and shot, preferably with one bullet! (He’s fiscally responsible too.) A visit does not go by without some statement of despair about the direction this country is heading. He has a beautiful black Mercedes-Benz parked on the grounds and threatens to close his practice because all the culprits will soon put him out of business.

Then there is Dr. Haveaheart, my cardiologist. He is another breed of doctor, replacing an old-timer who retired from old age. The good doctor has a very modern approach to taking care of my heart, conducting his examination with a question and answer period dedicated to extracting guilt, and family history out of me. For instance:

Dr. Haveaneart
“Do you exercise?”
“Yes, caution.”
“I’ll take that as a no.”
“Do you have a history of heart disease running in your family?”
“Yes, my father was always helping people and I did most of the work.”

Finally there is Dr. Seemore, my eye doctor. He owns some fancy title as an ambassador to some board or what not. He wears a grayish blue suit all day with the jacket on, is a specialist in diabetic matters and eyesight. He once suggested to me that if anyone was to offer me anything over the holidays, to refuse it saying I am a diabetic and can’t eat it. Obviously, he’s never seen me eat.

Dr. Seemore
Today I visit Dr. Seemore. His assistants will do all these preliminary tests: he will come in, jacket on, tie in place, and sit at the small desk and read my file, ask me questions and comment on how I’m doing. He always asks the same question: “What is your A1C number?” I will lie, since I don’t know it, and praises me for doing so well, and off I go to eat something. This has been going on for years. I make sure to always give him an occasional near border line number to avoid suspicion.