Thursday, January 31, 2008


This May 10th, the clan celebrates Nana’s 90th birthday! It will be an affair for the ages, or should I say the aged?

Yesterday I went to an Italian restaurant to make arrangements. I met one of the Don’s who runs the joint, and he was very accommodating but busy.

As I walked into the restaurant, I was directed to the Don and met this man that was well manicured and groomed to perfection. His knuckles looked a little raw as he stretched out his hand to shake mine. In his other hand he was putting away a set of brass knuckles and motioned us to sit down. As I studied his face, I couldn’t help but notice the finely trimmed goatee that adorned his serious face. He moved like a cat, and said very little.

All around him one heard phones ringing off the hook, waiters, cooks and bar maids all approaching him for either permission or advice on some matter. With quick one or two word answers, an annoyed look, or a wave of the hand he directed and ordered those about.

The Don runs two of the family businesses. One is the restaurant, and the other is: if you fail to pay that bill, you step into his funeral parlor, where other arrangements will be made. He does have a special arrangement in that if you have flowers at the restaurant, default on the bill, he will carry both you and the flowers into the funeral parlor.


Need a rest from all this racist jive? Hire the Don to “take care of it.” Or, write to: Tell him, I got a guy you can’t refuse.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


TLW (The Little Woman) is quick, crafty and sly. She knows how to operate and when to. She almost had me hoodwinked, and frankly, I’m not surprised.

The other day, she asked me to go next door in the Hood to my Man Bill and his Lovely Wife Carole’s house to give them $20 for something. She stated she would pay me back when she got home. Being a dutiful husband, that is just what I did. I found My Man Bill home alone (unsupervised) and gave him the money. $20. That evening, nothing, not one red cent was forthcoming from TLW. I figured, OK, I know where she lives.

That evening, there was a knock on the door. It was My Man Bill with $10 in his hand, which he explained was my change. What was needed was only $10. I thanked the man and gave it to TLW. (I am well trained)

The next morning dawned dark and dreary, and there was a lot on my mind as I descended the stairs to begin my day. With her cherub-like face and little red nose and sparkling green eyes she said: “The money I owe you for the week is on the table. I pick it up and count, $10 more than usual. Do I inquire, or do I take it and run? I, inquire. “Toots, how come there is $10 more than usual?

TLW: “Oh, that’s the money I owe you from yesterday.”

I get a feeling like I left the house without my pants on, and for that matter, my underwear too.

Me: “Huh?”

TLW: “Yes, remember you gave Bill $10, here is the $10 I owe you.”

Now I feel like I left the house without my shirt, too.

Me: “But I gave you $20.”

TLW: “Ha-ha, yes, but you only gave Bill $10.”

Me: “Shouldn’t I get another $10?”

TLW: “Why?”

Me: “Well, I had $20 in my wallet. It went next door (I wave Bye-bye), the $20 is no longer in my wallet. You gave me $10, but the wallet feels lighter. Oh, about $10 lighter! You see where I’m coming from, homey?”

TLW: “Ha-ha, you sound like one of my members in the bank.”

Me: “Sounds like you bank had a VERY profitable year last year with you!”


Would you like to use this blog as bait? Do things sound: Fishy? Send a nicely worded protest (one word or less) to: Tell him: “GO FISH!”

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Every now and then, I get to wish someone special a “Happy Birthday”. Although belated because of our trip to Sedona, Arizona (It rhymes), this one goes to Dennis, TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) youngest brother.

I’ve known Dennis a long time, and he is one of those guys that loves to laugh and he’s a great story teller. He is the father of three handsome young men, and a grandfather many times. But what makes Dennis special? Is it the work he does for the mentally disabled? Is it the psychotherapy he administered to people in trouble? Maybe it is the devout faith he has in God. No, they may contribute, but it is in his very being to care. He cares about everyone he knows, and tries to help where and when he can. He is generous and helpful. Good traits to have if you want friends for life. He is TLW in a man’s shoes.

Married to Angela, my compatriot in all things Italian in an Irish family, she too is of a kind that matches perfectly. When I first met Dennis, he was just married, and spent his time asking me about myself, never talking about what he did while being very warm to me. I didn’t forget that. When he lived in Utica, he would come down to visit and bring me a case or two of my favorite beer.

He can light up a room when he enters, and leave it lit long after he left it. I think he and his older sister Maureen share the same laugh gene. Both have the gift of gab.

Over the years, I’ve grown fond of him and his family and hope that he can prosper in his new life in Virginia, where the temperature is like him, warmer than Utica.

Looking to stifle the bad taste of the internet blogs? Send you outright indignation to: Tell him go blog in some smog!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Old friends get better with age!

After we said our goodbyes to Santo and Carol, we shifted gears and headed south to Phoenix. Depositing #2 Son at the airport, we then did a little sightseeing in Old Scottsdale. This was on the recommendation of a lovely lady who happened to live in the area, by the name of Carole Sapienza. The plan was to see Old Scottsdale, check into our hotel and then meet Carole and her husband Joe for dinner.

Right on schedule she arrived, in the hotel lobby, looking as radiant as I remember her, and if possible, even nicer. I introduced her to TLW (The Little Woman) and they hit it off great.

We went to a place called: Bill Johnson’s Steak House. This was appropriate since the original Human Resource man at PCH where we both worked was named Bill Johnson!

Being how I turned into an old wussie, I can’t eat as much as I used to, so it was left for Joe Sapienza to try the 24 oz. steak. If you can finish the plate, the establishment gives you a T-shirt that reads; “I ate the big one at Bill Johnson’s Steak House.” Commenting on how that would not fly in my old neighborhood in Bellport, he promptly gave me the T-shirt for keeps.

Both Joe and Carole were made for each other. Both were very gracious and kind: let alone, a lot of fun. I think they are both getting used to Phoenix in a positive way, and will be happy there for the rest of their lives.

I was great seeing them.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

NAMES AND PLACES OF GOOD PEOPLE luck can come in a form of divine design. I think that I look for people like the couple we met in the airport, restaurant and train depot.

While we sat in the first class accommodations of the wood paneled car, the seats being sofas and a coffee table at our knees, we settled into the tour of the canyon floor. The gentleman across from me introduced himself as Santo, and his lovely wife Carol. We had met and introduced ourselves officially!

The tour that afternoon was memorable, and we made plans to have dinner the last night of our stay, with a trip to see the sunset at the airport hilltop. Then after dinner, we would go and see a real Indian flutist play and explain the composition and tradition of the flute.

The sunset was beautiful, crowd of sunset seekers, gathered around in one spot at the summit of one hill, to witness the sunset of Sedona, and her red stone mountains.

After the sunset, we followed each other to the Dahl and DeLuca Restaurant on 89A for a great Italian meal. Being how Santo is a teacher, of three languages, I couldn’t help but ask him: when he thinks, which language he thinks in? We talked about Carol and her teaching and life in general. Comparing notes and schedules. One bottle of wine later, we followed Santo to his resort, where the flutist was to perform.

The flutist played some beautiful music. It lent itself to the moment, the atmosphere, and the time and places of long ago. As a Native American, (partial) he took great pride in his heritage.

To find nice, good refined people, people who love life is a great gift from God. I look forward to seeing them again, as that thought sustained me through the goodbyes on our last night to a beautiful couple in a beautiful place.

Passion for life is good; it includes places, people and food. All of this is special to remembrance, it helps me tie up all my memories of those wonderful people I will try to keep in touch with.

Ciao, Carol and Santo!

Friday, January 25, 2008


It was very early in the morning, as we: TLW (The Little Woman) and #2 Son struggled with the luggage as we waited to check in with Southwest Airlines. Being it was a long line; everyone would mover up in increments of inches.

Ahead of us stood a distinguished gentleman about my age, with his wife. Together they seemed very comfortable and spoke quietly to each other. They had a lot of luggage that they wished to check in, but it was difficult for him to move by himself. Like me, he needed to do it himself, and not make his wife move it.

As we moved forward on the line, and he struggled with his bags, I helped him by giving one of his bags a gentle push forward, of which he was appreciative. We started to talk and compared flights. He was going to Las Vegas, Nevada, and I was going to Phoenix. Off they went, so did we.

After our arrival in Phoenix and harrowing trip to Sedona, we settled in our time-share and went out to diner. Being how it was so late, we figured not to far from the resort since we were all tired. As the waiter led us to our booth in the Red Planet Diner, a popular Star Trek themed restaurant, I look at the couple in the next booth. Who is it but the couple in the airport! We exchange pleasantries and chat a while, comparing where we are staying, and off they go, having finished dinner.

The following Thursday, TLW decided to book us on a train trip through the canyon floor. Off we go to catch our train, and being how we are early, we decided to have lunch at the depot (restaurant and gift shop, of course). Finishing lunch, we go out to sit at the picnic table and wait to board. Being it was a gorgeous knock down sunny and beautiful Arizonian day, we sat in the sun. All of a sudden, I’m sitting in the shade, as this figure is hovering over me. I look up, and who is it/ Why my friend from the airport, the Red Planet, and now the train Depot.

Since we both had first class accommodations, he invited us to sit with him and his wife for the duration of the trip.

Tomorrow: names and places of good people.

Here’s an exercise for people over 50 from my buddies Seth and JoEllen Smith

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of Room at each side.

With a 5-lb potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can.

Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.

Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato sacks.

Then try 50-lb potato sacks and then eventually try to get where you can lift a 100-lb potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm at this level.)

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.


Deep in the Sycamore Canyon, 50 some odd miles south of Flagstaff, sits a 12th Century Sinagua settlement called, Tuzigoot. A good reason why it is called Tuzigoot is because all the good names were taken. The Sinaguans were Native Americans that settled most of Sedona and all of highway 89A, including all the souvenir shops. They also made me crazy, or seemed to.

Sinagua in Spanish means: “without water” so they say. I think it means without walls. Everywhere we went, the Sinagua Indians had been. Today historians wonder what happened to the lost tribe. I can tell them. They are working Highway 89A, selling more souvenirs and turquoise jewelry.

It seems that TLW (The Little Woman) was hankering (Cowboy talk for wanting) to visit the site and so we went. Being trusting that I am, I followed all her instructions and finally found the place. It is a big rock. A really big rock. A rock so big, you can only walk up its trail, with again, sloping sides that lead one into the deep abyss. It has nothing to speak of that is of ooh or aah quality, but some interest exists. You see remnants of an empty set of mud and rock buildings. Then to impress one even further, one sees remnants of rooms and walls made of little rocks. They too, have a souvenir shop.

As we began the climb upward toward the top of the site, TLW became more and more unsettled. Walking along the narrow path, the higher we went, the tighter, her eyes closed shut. Soon she was walking in tiny little steps, hanging onto my arm, eyes closed, and other visitors wondering why I would bring a blind person up to such a place. As usual, it was my entire fault. And so TLW “Saw” another part of Arizona!

Like to “See” me disappear like the Sinagua Indian? Write to:, tell me to get some rocks in my shorts and jump off the sides, into the deep abyss.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Montezuma’s Castle is an imposing 20 room, 5-storey structure built into a recess in a white limestone cliff about 70 feet above the ground, with a river rushing by at its foot. When first discovered (without a souvenir shop) the ruins were thought to be Aztec in origin. So they decided: Hey, what the hell, let’s name it after Montezuma. Along came some Park Rangers who said: “No, it belongs to the Sinagua Indian peoples who farmed the surrounding land between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, long before Highway 89A.

That didn’t stop people from still calling it Montezuma’s Castle. If you know anything about real history, you know that Montezuma entertained the whole US Marine Corp in his hall. After that wild party, he decided to get away, and where did he decide to go? A place named after him, of course. Well, legend has it that he never made it. Apparently, the Marines made such a mess in his hall, which Mrs. (or is that Ms.) Montezuma made him stay home and clean it up. As Jack Paar would say: “I kid you not.“

This has nothing to do with Montezuma’s Revenge, which should be another blog, someday.

Looking for revenge? Send a bomb, clearly marked; “Bomb” to:, tell him: “Here, expand this.”

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The day had been one of satisfaction; we had purchased an addition to our time-share, and were looking to do a little sightseeing for the rest of the day. TLW (The Little Woman) was anxious to see Jerome, a mining town up in the black hills of Arizona. Dusk was settling in, and we thought we would have dinner up there, and turn around and come back down the mountain. Citing the stats from her brochure, TLW tells me that there are 153 hairpin turns along the route to the top.

Up the mountain we drove. At first, Cleopatra Hill, the road seemed straight with slight bends, so I figured that if this is a hairpin turn, the writer of the brochure is a big sissy,

Higher and higher we went, the sides of the road starting to slope steeply downward, the road still seemed straight, but there were no guard-rails. Jumping out to greet me for the first time was the first of the hairpin turns, as all I could see was the abyss behind the curve, and no guardrail, while I stepped on my brakes with both feet! TLW was starting to get nervous, closing her eyes and not seeing the magnificent view of Sedona down below. Begging and pleading, I asked her to open her eyes, while begging and pleading, she asked me to shut my mouth.

Finally, in the gloom of the setting sun on a cold evening, the snow top mountain framed the historical town of Jerome. But, alas, the experience was too much for TLW; she could not bear to eat this high up, so we set out back down from whence we came.

My trusty GPS, had pointed out the route and we began the road back. It is said that the town and the mountain, Cleopatra Hill, is haunted, some may believe that, and some may not. I do.

As we started our journey, things began to change radically, as TLW began to stir once more. She noticed snow for the first time on the ground, and started to become hysterical once more. “Do you remember snow coming up?” Me: “Yes” (I was lying), the snow was beginning to be deeper and deeper, the road narrower and the night darker and darker. The snow now hung on the trees ominously, silhouetted against the dark sky, and blackness with stark white contrast that defied understanding. Suddenly, there was a car, then another coming from behind, as I slowed to a crawl, negotiating the uncertainness of the hairpin turns that seemed to come up at me quickly. Cars from the other direction, forcing me to squeeze to the edge of the road, the sense of standing on the precipice of blackness and deep, deep uncertainty. Higher and higher, we climb, louder and louder TLW became. My heart had stopped beating and my mind was numb, as I had to deal with the road, the darkness and TLW. The GPS was visually telling me of each and every hairpin turn, yet with all that was happening, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful views that the snow gave up to the adventure. I wanted to get out of the car and savor the opportunity, but with TLW hysterical, there was no chance.

Finally, the GPS started to show the end of the road, which I thought was 89A, the road I started on, but the strange thing was the arrow on the instrument was pointing back up the mountain!

Eeriness overtook the mood of the car as we descended the long hill to the bottom. Leading us around a small area of Prescott, it was pointing us back up the hill once again, and TLW would have nothing of it.

TLW: “We are not going back up that mountain. I will not go up that mountain. I WILL NOT GO UP THAT MOUNTAIN, AGAIN!”

Me: “We have to, it’s the only way back.”
TLW: “No! You are not taking me back up that mountain again.”
Me: “Well, you will have to get out of the car, or close your eyes and keep quiet until I get us over the mountain to the other side.”

Back up we went, higher and higher, the same hairpin turns and snow covered icy roads, the deep abyss, beckoning us once more into the night. But the GPS had a surprise for us, as we went through Jerome once more, it took us down a shorter path to 89A, as all was quiet, the mountain, the GPS and TLW.

Hoping I would have jumped off the mountain? Write to:, and suggest one I should try.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


TLW (The Little Woman) didn’t have enough of the Native American. When she arrived the next morning from her exercise in the main office, she announced that she “Inquired” at the desk what the night act would be. She informed me that some man that she met said HE was the main act!

Off we go that night, to hear Cowboy Bob sing, and play his “gitar”, yessiree Bob, yur darn tootin’, and Yahoo!!!

Well he drew a larger crowd. Mostly old folks with cowboy shirts and hats and steak and beer attitudes that said, “this is singin!”
First thing I did was check out his outfit, his cowboy look needed some work! First, there was no horse tied up outside! Secondly, he was wearing shoes, brown ones, and old, instead of boots.

Now the man carried a guitar, and I could have carried a violin, and in both cases, neither one of use would be able to play it.
He also chose to sing. I choose to live like a king, neither one of us ever will.

He sang songs like: “If you ain’t white, you ain’t American.” Or “Let’s kill all dose Muslims people and make peace an American way of life.” My favorite song was a catchy little tune: “God, guns and meat, the American Way.”

#2 Son and I decided it was time to stop TLW. We threatened her that if she ever went into the main office again, we would bring her to the top of a mountain, tape her eyes open and walk her through it.

Meanwhile, I pray that Injun Schwartz finds Cowboy Bob and scalps him.

Coming soon, a real American Native plays his flutes.

Looking for the cash bar to get drunk and forget about these blogs/ Write to:, tell him: Stop I need another drink!”

Monday, January 21, 2008


In TLW”s (The Little Woman) quest to enjoy every moment of every day on vacation, she would sometimes wander in the wee hours of the morning.

Every morning she would decide to go to the fitness room, and exercise a little. While she was doing that, I was doing something more productive, believe it or not. I was resting. Resting is a carryover from the night’s work that I do, and I do it seriously.

It seems every morning TLW would return from her exercise, and announce that she had signed up for some kind of nocturnal sequester in the main room of the resort, where the fitness room was located.

Our first night of nocturnal adoration had to do with an Indian, (oops, there I go again!) “Native American.” The guy was dressed like he was in a hurry, and couldn’t find his closet, so he wore whatever was lying around. Next to him was a group of flutes of various dimensions and shapes on one side, and a little kneeling bench with a rug, a small table and a pottery small cup. I thought the cup would be filled with incense, but he filled it with water to drink from. The kneeling bench I thought he would summon up a Navajo God or spirit, or something, but no, he sat on that.

Native American proceeded to select a conch shell from his little table, blow into it and put it down. That was the beginning of the end. Selecting from his rack of flutes, he starts to play this mournful tune that was fine, it didn’t make me nuts, and it kept me there along with his audience of TLW, #2 Son and two old ladies who I think had fallen asleep that afternoon from having tea, and no one came for them.

Well the flute player went from one to another flute, playing the same tune. In fact, he played the same tune on all his flutes. Each tune began by his describing what it was suppose to be. “Wind, fire, and water” or the ever popular: “Fire, water and wind.” Of course, he brought down the house with the Hopi best seller: “Water, fire, wind and more water.”

Turns out: the guy was from Guam, and his name was Tippy Schwartz who really lives in the Bronx.

Tomorrow, part 2 of the nocturnal adoration vacation club.

Losing sleep over fear of reading another blog? Write to:,
tell him to stay in bed.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


As I see it, no married man is an island: there is his wife.

It was Tuesday, the day TLW (The Little Woman) was waiting for all her life. No, she had other Tuesdays in her life, but this one was special. It was the day she would visit the Grand Canyon!

We awakened very early that day, TLW and me were ready by 5:30 AM, because the Pink Jeep Tour guide was coming to get us at 7:00 AM sharp. We were to take a private tour of the Canyon in the luxury of a high wide windowed van, with plenty of heat and comfort. Captain chairs that leaned back to sleep in, blankets, water bottles, and a lunch at the top of the Canyon at El Tovar’s.

“All my life I dreamt about seeing the Grand Canyon. I can’t wait to see it. I hear it is BEAUTIFUL!” said TLW.

Well we got there all right. Two hours of climbing a mountain and passing through Flagstaff, the area covered in snow about 7 to 8 inches worth.

Arriving at the first site of the tour, we all got out of the van and looked at the magnificent view, the breath-taking view that was one of a kind, the Colorado River, snaking it’s way through the floor below. The snow was glistening off of the peaks and crevices of the canyon rim, as we viewed the northern edge from our vantage point on the southern edge.

Suddenly, TLW was nowhere in sight! My God, did she fall off the edge? Would I have to pay full price still? Do I sell my car and keep hers? All these questions were racing through my mind. I started calling: “TLW” “Ellen” “Mrs. Del Bloggolo”

Finally, after five minutes of a casual hunt, there she was down the road, reading one of the markers that described the area.

As we drove to the next vantage point, we all got out and went to the edge where we had a fence in front of us, and about 10 feet of surface before you got to the actual edge. TLW’s eyes were closed. CLOSED! “All my life I dreamt about seeing the Grand Canyon. I can’t wait to see it. I hear it is BEAUTIFUL!” said TLW, remember?

Couldn’t get her to open them, At this point, she starts to berate the tour guide: “Why don’t you have higher fences and protection, so people don’t fall in? Huh? Huh? This from a woman who saw the Grand Canyon with her eyes closed! Thanks for the suggestion, Lucy.

Sorry to hear I lived to write about the Grand Canyon, wished I had fallen off the edge? Then write to:, tell him: “The Grand Canyon would have been grander, if you fell into it.”

Saturday, January 19, 2008


As usual, TLW (The Little Woman) decided that we needed to climb the mountain once again, and visit this church in the mountains. It was either the Church of the Holy Cross or Holy Mackerel, I forget which.

Once again, we drove up this steep winding road, sans guardrail and inched ever upward until we came to sign that read: “Last potty stop before heaven!” or something like that. There stood a blue portable potty on the side of the road.

After driving with that potty in mind, we came to a parking lot, filled with cars. The day was dark and misty, and the prospects of walking far were great. Parking, we began the final ascent by foot, up a winding trail, with an ankle high fence and a steep drop down to oblivion.

TLW was holding on to #2 Son for dear life, and I was following behind. The climb became steeper and steeper, slowly the wind was seeping out of my lungs, and death was eminent.

Finally, reaching the top of the hill, there stands the church, carved out of the mountainside. A giant cross sitting against the building and descending down the side of the rock! Reverently I approached the building, and upon entering, a sudden wave of piety came over me, being overcome by the sheer end of the climb, and yes, I was still alive!

Of course, after the visit, comes the pictures. To make the day complete with steep drops and skittish Mother, come #2 Son, standing on the edge of the ankle high fence, showing off.

Looking for a legal way to commit murder? Write to:, ask him: “Can you walk backwards to the ankle high fence, eyes closed and be within a quarter of an inch of the edge?

Friday, January 18, 2008



TLW (The Little Woman) loves to be the boss of everything. When she is not, she takes over in more subtle ways.

On our nightmare ride to Sedona, from the airport in Phoenix, the temperature started to drop radically. Inside the car however, the temperature was a steady 72 degrees. This is not enough for TLW. Her comfort zone is my roasting point.

As we were driving, TLW was busy fiddling with the little buttons and dials that come with the modern Cadillac of today. #2 Son was stretched out in the back seat, asleep (thankfully) and I was busy with the road and it’s conditions.

Suddenly, my seat becomes very, very warm! “What the hell?” TLW: “My seat is cold!” Me: “Mine is HOT! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO?” TLW: I can’t seem to regulate the temperature!” Me; “Why would you? The temperature is…Whoooa!! Now my ass is in a deep freeze! Manning, what are you doing??!!” TLW: “Heh heh, I can’t figure it out.” Me: “AAAAH, now it’s hotter than Hell again!” TLW: “OK, I’ll fix it.” Me: “No, just turn off everything you touched.” #2 Son: “Ma, what are you doing, it is very hot on my ass, then I’m cold, then I’m hot!”

Modern screw-ups are not just TLW’s domain, I have a history of malfeasance myself. As we stopped at this store TLW wanted to go in to buy coffee. TLW and #2 Son went in while I sat in the car and waited. The rear-view mirror caught my eye. Being curios, I wondered what all the buttons were for, particularly the red one. I tested it. TLW returns with her baby and they sit in the car. Me: “You know what I learned tonight?” TLW:” No, what?” Me: “NEVER touch this button here, (pointing to the rear-view mirror’s red button) it hooks you up to some guy called ROAD SIDE ASSISTANCE AND EMERGENCY!”

Does it seem like an emergency to clean up the blogosphere? Write to;, tell him: “Go lay under a truck somewhere between here and Timbuktu, for crying out loud.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


The big South West Airline jet made a clean descent into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and taxied to the terminal, flying from our connecting city of Baltimore. It was still early, and the day was sunny as we trudged to the car rental to rent our Gold Cadillac with “Road side assistance” buttons on the rear-view mirror.

Piling our luggage into the trunk, in eager anticipation we set out to Sedona, Arizona. Sedona and Arizona rhyme, so we knew it would be a very poetic place.

In TLW’s (The Little Woman) carryall bag sat the GPS. Yes, that dreaded controversial instrument that TLW detests so much. After all, if anything or one is going to tell me where to go, she would, not some new fangled doodad!

As we prepared to depart the car rental, I asked her to get the GPS out so we could set it up. “Why do we need that? I have printed instructions here (waving a piece of paper in my face) that will get us there.” Defiantly and with great confidence, she began to give me instructions as she read. “Take I-17 N strait to Sedona, and later I will give you the exit number.”

As we come to the sign reading: I-17N, there is one that reads I-10E, both pointing in the same direction. I turn where she tells me and off we go. Overcome by the magnificent scenery, we ooh and aah, awed by the majesty of the distant mountains and long stretches of desert. Traveling along for almost an hour, we keep seeing signs that say I-10E, and we are both becoming suspicious of it all. Finally, I ask TLW to take out a map and see how far we are from a town that the road signs keep mentioning. “Uh, Oh,” she states, we are going in the wrong direction!” Now from Phoenix to Sedona is a two-hour drive. We are already one hour out of our way. We have to go back! Another hour. I pull over to the side of the road. “Why are you pulling over?” (To save our marriage) I state: let’s take out the GPS and just to double-check us. (Diplomatic and cowardly). TLW pulls out the GPS, sets it up and eyes it with a venomous look.

Turning around on I-10W, we begin the long journey into night. When I do things, sometimes without seeking perfection, perfection takes over. As we begin the trip in our Gold Cadillac with “Road side assistance” buttons on the rear-view mirror, it starts to get dark! Then it starts to rain. Then we meet up with a traffic jam. Perfect. Friggen perfect! And while I’m at it, why not stop to use a toilet?

Finally, we find Rt. I-17N and do take it. Triumph sets in, in our Gold Cadillac with “Road side assistance” buttons on the rear-view mirror, as we begin the long journey. At first the road is a four-lane traffic nightmare that leads to a single lane nightmare, where up and up we go, nosebleed in the making, we head into the mountains, in the dark and rainy night.

Big old 18-wheelers join in the parade up the dark and winding trail, no guardrails, no lights, and no nuttin! Behind me come the behemoth and menacing on the dark winding trail, the 18-wheelers begin to slow up as we climb the steep mountain. I slip around them and now we descend the mountain. Yes, I was on the top of the mountain. TLW is squirming, eyes closed, not listening to me admonish her for not looking at the magnificent view of the small towns way, way below in the dark.

Finally, at the bottom of the mountain stands a sign: “WELCOME TO SEDONA”, it is dark, we can’t see a damned thing and it is raining. Up ahead is a road construction route, turning and twisting in the dark, but I don’t care, I am in Sedona, the land around me is flat, and the GPS tells me I have arrived!

Tired of hearing it? Need to get away from this drivel? Hey, be nice. Write to:, tell him: “Hey Yahoo, shut up and go climb a mountain.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


When traveling throughout the country, the only part I truly detest is in an airport. Getting to an airport is hard enough, with signs that direct you to oblivion, or at least to another airline, other than the one you want. Direction signs are situated so that you need to make heart-stopping decisions; within inches of space and seconds of time, otherwise, around you go again.

Of course, checking in is always a wonder. We had Charlie, who was new on the job, and we were a test for him. Standing behind the counter at 4:30 a.m., one wonders how anyone can cope with the computer, crowds and over-heated building. Charlie was retired, and was trying to see if he could start a new career as an airline agent at that hour. It took us almost a half hour to get a boarding pass.

As we got to the gate, everyone had to strip down to almost our underwear, as we all wore our best socks for the occasion. Of course, #2 Son had to wear one white and one black sock for comedic purposes. Off come the shoes, the belt (chastity belts need to be put in a separate bag) and all metal objects, including teeth fillings. Out come the driver's license and the puzzled looks at those who have to decide: “Yes. This is him!”

Once inside TLW (The Little Woman) decides to announce that she will take an exercise power walk while we wait to board. This is designed to make me nervous, and be a sentry for all the bags. Deep down inside I know she is not walking, but shopping. Back she comes, all walked out, and poorer, but with little fancy bags.

One of the curious things I notice is the people in wheel chairs. They all look either pathetic, or very angry. Ever notice how they stare ahead, not saying out loud: “Boy, I got a ride, yup, didn’t have the hassle of waiting on line to board, either. In fact, I’M going in first!”

Need help understanding all this? Write to;, tell him; Why must you continue this?”

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I have traveled many times to many places on my own on business; Chicago, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Florida and Los Angeles, all without TLW (The Little Woman). In the course of my traveling, I’ve made connections to buses, cars, cabs trains, other planes etc., again, without TLW.

When I travel with TLW, the little lady takes complete charge. TLW runs the show, holding the tickets, in an all-purpose carry-on bag with incidentals such as: aspirin, newspapers, gum etc. I sometimes have to take the bag from her so she can travel more easily. She sometimes thinks she is a pack mule the way she carries everything, so I naturally get angry with her and take the bag.

As we entered the airport security, we needed our drivers license and tickets. TLW handed me a ticket and said: “Take this and go through the detector.” “Yes, Dear” said I.

Going through the security detector, I handed the lady with the security wand my ticket and license. She looks at the ticket confused, and says to me: “I don’t care if you are husband and wife or lovers.” Me being somewhat well educated replied: “Huh?” The security lady shows me the airline ticket, which states: Ellen Del Bloggolo”. “Oops, she gave me the wrong ticket. That little woman behind me has my ticket, I have Hers.”

After we both pass through the detector, TLW says to me: “What did you ever say to cause so much confusion?”

Are you getting confused, and wish it would stop? Then write to:, tell him: “Life is confusing enough without you. Go away.”

Monday, January 14, 2008


Well, it is great to be back after a truly great vacation! More about the facts as the week progresses.

It was the Friday night before our flight to Phoenix, when TLW (The Little Woman) informs me that #2 Son is missing his wallet! “What are we going to do, he needs his license to get by security at the airline. All his photo ID is in his wallet.” Being a man of calm and cool collection, I suggested we kill him and then since we have our ID, just the two of us would go.

TLW after some inner debate, decided that that would be impossible, since we would need time to fool the forensic experts, and besides, it could be messy.

Being a saintly woman, she turned to me and says: “I am going to do what my Mother made us do when we needed something to be found. She would make us get down on our knees and pray to St. Anthony. That is what I am going to do, and don’t you say a word.”

Being how TLW has a sharp pointy finger when she uses it on me, I immediately did my part and lowered the TV. After all, I didn’t want to interfere with prayerful intervention by both St. Anthony and the Holy Mother TLW.

Down on both knees she went, hands clasps, and head in a prayerful mode. Silence overcame the household, a peacefulness and calm, as TLW head bowed like a little schoolgirl in her white Communion dress prayed. Arising from her deep prayer and meditation, she announced in my direction that she would now begin the process of seeking the wallet.

After 2 minutes or less, she came marching down the stairway and into the den, wallet waved high, announcing: “Don’t you or your two sons ever make fun of ME, when it comes to St. Anthony, or my religiousness.”

Today I am a believer.

Thought your prayers were answered when this blog didn’t propagate for a week, then felt God let you down by seeing it today? Find a patron saint of getting things lost, or make one up and pray I go away, or send a nasty worded note to: Tell him: “The devil to you.”

Friday, January 04, 2008


I was watching the New Year’s Eve celebrations on TV the other night and found it all very amusing. It seems the miracle of Botox was at it again. Way back in the 50’s and 60’s, I remember watching American Bandstand and the ageless Dick Clark. Well, guess what? He aged. Why would you put a man on TV who obviously had a stroke, can’t speak or even move his mouth well? Where is his dignity? I know, it is tradition, what happens when he dies? Do we roll out the casket? “Live from Times Square, it’s Dick Clark! Oops! Dead from Times Square it was Dick Clark!” It certainly would make for compelling TV.

Of course we have the other corpse, Ryan Seacrest, telling Dick Clark what an honor it is to be co-hosting the New Year with him. No, no, Ryan, it’s MY HONOR. Yes indeed, let’s all watch Dick Clark try to get some pity miles out of all of us for the next year coming up. Maybe we could invite Milton Berle to do a comedy sketch, he’s only been dead a few years.

I must say that Dick Clark does look better than last year. They concentrated all the Botox to the right cheek, and he is filling out nicely. You would never notice the decay! They said he never changes, AND, he never rots, thanks to Botox.

Am I being mean? Yes. Why? Because I am mean when the host distracts from the show. I like Dick Clark, I remember him for his clean-cut appearance, good humor, his giving a lot of great entertainers a start. That is who I wish to remember, not some guy who suffers a stroke and won’t give it up.

I will be in beautiful Arizona starting Saturday and will return the following Saturday, so you will not see a blog again until January 14th. I hope to have a great time, to miss doing my blog, and not seeing Dick Clark.

Tired of all this meanness? Wish to get some steam out? Write to:, tell him: “Hey, why don’t you find the Grand Canyon and jump in?”

Thursday, January 03, 2008


And all was well within. The New Year’s Day get-together with My Man Bill and His Lovely Wife Carole was big hit. First of all: they know how to throw a party. Innovative and fun, lively and good tasting, best describes the days events.

The company was great, although I did miss my good neighbor Rich and Alison, who unfortunately were involved with the unhappy task of burying a loved one, and I know the whole neighborhood sends their heart-felt condolences to; Rich, his Mom and his beautiful family on the death of Rich’s Dad.

On the lighter side, I did see all my other neighbors, and they looked great! The funny thing is that they all looked tired and for some reason a little subdued. I guess the fact that New Year’s Eve the night before had something to do with it.

This year’s resolution is to gain as much weight as possible, maybe take up smoking, and definitely do more drinking. Along with those resolutions, I will do less around the house, and try, try, try to sleep more. It seems if I do all those things, I’m happier.

Well, at least my resolutions are easier to keep, and if I break one, I’m ahead of the game!

Resolve to have a happier New Year. Write to:, tell him,: “Why didn’t you accompany the ball when it went down in Times Square, without a parashute?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Many years ago, in the little hamlet called Brooklyn, New York, as I was growing up, a phenomenon was sweeping the land. A sudden influx of Black Churches was being established in various storefronts around the borough in rapid fashion. Commercial establishments were being leased out to God, and people were praying on almost every block.

Not too far from my Grandmother’s house sat just such a church, rising out of the Devil’s work of commercialism, to become one of God’s houses. I remember the people who attended this particular church, probably newly arrived from the South, establishing roots up North, and with it their culture and beliefs.

These were people of great faith, whose piety was borne of great hope, and song, hand clapping and joy. They more than anyone I know or knew then, expressed what devotion to God should be, but is not. The music was loud, fast and had a foot-stomping beat, one that carried you into an ecstasy of happiness and hallelujah good times. Good old Southern Baptist praying at its finest. This was a stark contrast from the solemnity and ritualism of the Catholic Church.

I noticed something about Black people that I truly admire, they strive for and practice their faith through their every day lives. Most I know are happy, joyously loud and filled with laughter. They can also be deeply spiritual. I guess being picked on for all these years makes them so. They can make me laugh, make me suffer with them, and when they describe their cooking, make me hungry.

But why am I telling you this? Well, I was watching a movie last night, about Jackie Robinson, and there was a scene where the Panther team bus, filled with black ballplayers stopped for food and a chance to wash up. They sent Jackie into this roadside restaurant to order sandwiches if he could convince someone to make them for blacks. #1 Son sighed, saying out loud how sad it was they had to do that. It seemed like Jackie was entering a space ship filled with hostile aliens, while he left people on the bus! Sad.

I’m glad neither of my sons are bigoted, I hope they feel that way about old men too.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Congratulations! You made it through another year.

If you remember last year at this time, I talked about movies I saw the night before and fighting to stay awake to greet the New Year. Today we will go over to meet with the Hood, say “Hello” to the neigbs, and pray I can get up the next morning. My man Bill and his lovely wife Carole will be hosting a New Year’s Party for the hood, and I look forward to it.

Friday, #1 Son leaves for home and sunny California, and Saturday I leave with TLW (The Little Woman) and #2 Son for Arizona for a week. We’ll see Phoenix and Sedona and maybe hookup with Carole Sapienza, my old PCH buddy.

This starts the third year I am writing this blog, and I don’t believe it went so fast! Actually, March is the two-year anniversary of DelBloggolo, and I have had a lot of fun writing it. Sometimes it is hard to write, and some days it will write itself. Like Jerry Seinfeld’s show, it is about nothing. You go to work, that is a blog. You fall asleep, that is a blog.

A few good people passed on in 2007, and people were born to take their place. I was privileged to meet the Fab Five for the first time while in California. MFF (Laura), Justin, Jared, Pete the Teacher and Minnesota Pete, all great people, and I hope to see them again this year.

Then I look forward to at least communicating with my old friends: Ed Smith, Jack Stern, and Tom Owens, not to mention Ronnie Freedman (The Weight Watcher maven), Bill Wortman my old lunch buddy and IRS man, and my good buddies from PCH who I still treasure as friends.

Well have a great New Year, and stay healthy.

What! Another year of DelBloggolo? Send you indignation to direct to the source,, tell him: “Hey, isn’t two years enough already, do you have to torture me some more?