Tuesday, August 31, 2010


My good buddy Jan from my old haunt at PCH sent me this in the form of an email!
My baby sister MaryAnn, an airline attendant will appreciate it.

Kulula is a low-cost South-African airline that doesn't take itself
too seriously.
Check out their new livery!

Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg .

Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight
"safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here
are some real examples that have been heard or reported:


On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit
where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time
choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're
not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"


On another flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the
pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude
and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort
and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."


On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of
your belongings.
"If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something
we'd like to have."


"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4
ways out of this airplane."


"Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the
business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."


As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport , a
lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"


After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the
Karoo , a flight attendant on a flight announced, "Please take care
when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing
like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."


From a Kulula employee: " Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port
To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle,
and pull tight.
It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know
how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public


"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will
descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull
it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you,
secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling
with more than one small child, pick your favorite."


Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds,
but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and
remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula


"Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of
an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them
with our compliments."


"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings.
Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight
attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.."


And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Kulula Airlines is
pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants
in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"


Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town :
The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite
a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it
wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't
the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."


Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly
windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really
had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight
Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City.
Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the
Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"


Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing:
"We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us
to the terminal."


An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had
hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a
policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while
the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying
our airline. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had
a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that
someone would have a smart comment.
Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady
walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a
question? Did we land, or were we shot down?"


After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant
came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats
until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a
screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has
cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door
and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."


Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to
thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you
get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a
pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."


Heard on a Kulula flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to
smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing. If you
can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."


A plane was taking off from Durban Airport . After it reached a
comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement
over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain
speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from Durban to
Cape Town , The weather ahead is good and, therefore,
we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and
relax...OH, MY GOODNESS!" Silence followed, and after a few
minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies
and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier.
While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally
spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of
my pants!"

A passenger then yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back
of mine!"

Monday, August 30, 2010


Thank God!

I don’t think I could stand any more heat and humidity. Soon I’m off for the Jersey shore and Cape May. There I go to chill out, feel a nice breeze and walk along the boardwalk.

“Oh, when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof
And your shoes get so hot you wish your tired feet were fire-proof
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be”

There is nothing like the ocean breezes, cooling and salty tasting.
Makes your whole being come alive! I think we are all come from the sea originally. Walking along the beach, the sand squeezing through your toes, feeling the water squeeze from under your feet, the gentle washing that comes with it.

"(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be falling in love
Under the board-walk (board-walk!)”

TLW (The Little Woman) doesn’t like the beach because she burns easily, but I find it very romantic. I like to look out into the horizon and feel the freshness that seems to reside just out of reach. It lends a kind of hope for new days and new life. It really is a special feeling.

“From the park you hear the happy sound of a carousel
Mm-mm, you can almost taste the hot dogs and French fries they sell
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be”

But the town of Cape May is special too. The historic buildings, the old battles that they fought with the different hurricane seasons, which lashed across those very beaches and boardwalk, and the grand old hotels that line the shore, all make me feel that the history made here is quite different than anyplace else on earth.

“(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be falling in love
Under the board-walk (board-walk!)”

Even the different vendors, selling junk for tourists and taffy or candy or even peanuts, mark the days there, as fun and remind us that there is another life to return to. Of course the restaurants are varied, many and all fairly good, and I enjoy them all.

“Oooooh, under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be”

But at the end of the day, we must all return to our own reality and enjoy what is the real lives we live.

“(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be falling in love
Under the board-walk (board-walk!)”

Goodbye summer!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


There is nothing sadder than losing one’s childhood.

There is nothing sadder than when a son leaves his mother forever. She is no longer the center of his life, no longer the woman he goes to for comfort, no longer the woman who will care for him.

“Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home”

He has found someone else to take her place, and so the mother lets go once and for all. She knows he will never return to her as he once did. He will still love her, venerate and adore her, but it will only be for short spans of time.

“Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don't know what to do
The memory of love will see you through”

A new woman has taken hold of his heart, has helped him to say “Goodbye Mom”, and so he will let go, forever more.

“Oh, Love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel

For some a way of living
For some a way to feel”

And so he will build a new life, bless his mother with grandchildren and a new wife, but he will move on. Away from the only woman he knew, and away from her voice of inspiration, encouragement and will listen to another.

“And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
And some say they don't know”

But he will listen carefully, for he will hear her voice echo in his mind, and shatter all his new experiences and realize, “Mom is always here with me!”

“Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of change
Like a fire when it's cold outside
Thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go

And some say love is everything
Some say they don't know

Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of change
Like a fire when it's cold outside
Or thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you”

Saturday, August 28, 2010


You could not ask for a better day weather-wise, than the day my nephew; The Macaroni Man and his lovely bride Kimberly tied the knot. Chris was giving up his ‘freedom’ and would now spend the rest of his life, serving his bride. But we don’t pity that, we congratulate that, for it seems that the love was there, the want and the will, all wrapped up in a white bow.
The bride was one of the prettiest I have seen and that was not surprising. Her radiance lit up the very dark church, making for a glowing group of well-wishers. My sister, MaryAnn looked like she could have been the bride, beautiful as ever and stunning in her dress, with a proud smile that told it all.

Of course, as you now know, little Al my great nephew almost stole the show, and maybe even the whole day! What amazes me is how happy everyone was for the couple. The brides Mom, no slouch herself in the looks department beamed the whole day, but I’m sure there was a sadness that pervaded the bride’s family, having lost Walter, the bride’s father just a few 8 or 9 months earlier. But somehow, I kept thinking of Walt, and maybe, just maybe he was looking down in pride, as was my brother-in-law Carl who had passed on ten years earlier.
But life does go on, and it did. Alexander will be a year old on September 9, the same day as my Dad’s birthday. He will insure the carrying on of the blood and life my grandmother started so many years ago, when she came to this great country as a 15 years old immigrant! My Mom, in her early 90’s, witnessed once again a grandchild married and another grandchild give birth, enriching not only her life, but all of ours as we witnessed the joy that day.
So Christopher, and Kimberly, hold on to each other, and never let go. Never see a dark cloud or a rainy day. Hold hands often for all your years and kiss, by God kiss, and don’t be afraid to. If you can say: “I love you” there is nothing else to say that will always say it all. Don’t be afraid to forgive, and don’t be afraid to laugh. And give it your all, 100%, but only of yourself to each other.

I hope you have children to bless your household, teach them that love is the greatest gift to give, and teach them that respect is a close second.

So congratulations, Kimberly and Christopher.

Friday, August 27, 2010


It doesn’t take much for people to go: “OOOOOOH” or “AAAAAHH!” Just my little 11 month-old great nephew: Al! Yup, old Al Schneider stole the show as he usually will by just showing up!Dapper as usual, and cooler that the night air in the Arctic, Al arrived in his tux at the church punctually, and immediately had heads swaying. Strolling down the aisle, holding his parents up, he won the hearts of everyone in the church, and if it weren’t for the bride, it would have been his show.
Being a ring barer is a huge responsibility, and Al was up to the task. He didn’t even have to rehearse. But you could clearly see the worry etched on his face, as he fretted that his parents would be able to do their jobs as groomsman and bridesmaid, and not cry or misbehave! He did a good job with them!
The reception was no different, as he was afforded the most space to showoff for the photographers and family and friends. It is not easy being cool, but he made it look like second nature. He is not camera shy.

Both his grandmothers were there to spoil him, but it was grandpa he wanted, and grandpa Schneider he got! I think Grandpa was more proud of him that his mom or dad.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Leaving the church after my nephew had just married, I stood at the end of the walkway leading to the church entrance, and waited for the new married couple to appear. There, standing along with me and TLW (The Little Woman) was a whole host of well wishers including my brother-in-law, Tom.

Tom: “That suit you are wearing, definitely Mafia!”
Me: “That’s right, before I whack someone, I make sure they see something pretty when they depart this world. But YOU are wearing a nice suit, when you get it fitted, send me a swatch so I can give it to my tailor for a suggestion.”

Then to add to the observations, my other brother-in-law John made a comment about my suit before the reception. We were talking about the death of a certain Dominick, when he suggested that I was wearing the suit when died and thought it was time.

I of course would NEVER take liberties with their haberdashery proclivities, except to say that Tom, who borrowed his suit from his father many years ago, takes pride in the suit he’s been wearing for years, since his father only wore it once in 1932, at his wedding, before he gave it to Tom many years later. It is ideal summer wear now, although it was once used strictly in the winter!

As for John, he is very unique. He likes to surprise people, including himself, when he dresses. What he likes to do is when he shops for clothes for a wedding, he goes to Good Will, when there are sales, and has my sister blind-fold him. She then leads him to the jackets rack where he is allowed to pick out a jacket, then off to the pants rack, where the same technique is employed. Once he finishes by selecting a shirt blind-folded, he goes to the tie rack to complete the tradition. And that folks, is what John will wear that day to a wedding. In his book, uniqueness and originality count.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


You travel all the way from Italy on a boat, the boat hits another boat, your boat sinks, and for what, a lousy piece of cake?

And so it happened. The Princess of Foxwoods Points, the lovely Patrizia, celebrating her birthday had just that experience! (See: Wednesday, June 09, 2010 blogue)

But, before I go on, let me ‘splain, as Ricky Ricardo used to say. TLW (The Little Woman), the quiet one, the one that I accuse of never laughing, of no sense of humor, decided to step out of character and play a little trick on her buddy Pat from the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Company. It was Pat’s birthday, and TLW decided to trick Pat, but let the whole department at the Wanna-Be bank in on it. TLW decided to make Pat a cake, a sponge cake for her birthday. Notice I didn’t say: “bake”, I said make.

So off to the Auto Discount store she goes, to purchase her “cake” supplies. “Auto Discount store cake supplies”? You think to yourself, “Surely Joe Bob, you mean, grocery store?!

Well I say two things to you:
1) Don’t call me Joe Bob and…
B) That’s right, auto store.

With loving care, TLW puts together a masterpiece of deception, a work of art, lovingly putting the finished touches on the corner with icing, giggling as she does.

You see folks: that was real sponge, the type you use to wash your car with!

And so the big day arrived. Patrizia was called into the Wanna-Be bank and Truss Co.’s kitchen, where you can find all the employees at lunchtime, while you are on line waiting for a teller. Ceremonially, Pat is given a knife to cut the ‘cake’. Like a Samurai Warrior praying to the gods, she raises the knife to cut. Slicing through the pink frosting with sprinkles (Did I say slicing? I meant pushing) she attempts to cut a slice. The knife goes nowhere! Once again she tries, with a little more vigor to separate the end of the cake from the body. Still no good comes from her attempts. A third attempt prompts her to start to apologize to the crowd and TLW. Finally someone tells her it is a sponge cake. She doesn’t get it! They explain it, she still doesn’t get it, and meanwhile the laughter is starting to ripple throughout the gathered crowd of well wishers and conspirators.

In exasperation, Theresa, her boss has the cake turned over to show the sponge. She still doesn’t get it!

They are all hoping by the next day, she will have at least cut her first piece.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Because I want to take a nap!

TLW (The Little Woman) is all in a titter when #1 Son and TLC, (The Lovely Courtney) pays us a visit. It usually means work.

For me!

I mean I like the kid, but couldn’t she ask HIM to dust? I mean it is because he is coming home. And it’s not like we DON’T dust, we are just a little less apt to find EVERY nick and cranny there is in the house. Then there is dinner. Ah, my favorite pastime is to eat and when we get company, I am asked to cook. Why? Well, for one thing, TLW hates to cook, is an excellent cook and I love to cook, so she feels I should do it.

I love to watch pretty girls, but she NEVER let’s me do THAT!

Anyway, she is wearing me out, and will soon find me left for dead! I’ve become a real ‘Susie spotless’ and Betty Crocker all in one! (Plus, I’m retaining water again!)

But when TLW decides to clean, it is a sacred mission, done in the wee hours of the morning, taking apart and dismantling everything, including me! Windows become miraculously shined and little crevices in door tracks are suddenly clear, all while having a cup of coffee. Have you ever seen a tornado on the TV coming at the camera? Well when this old girl touches down, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is up in the air and swirling about, and believe me, I don’t necessarily land in Kansas!

I could be standing at the bathroom sink, brushing my teeth, she will knock, take the toothbrush, do a baseboard heater with it, return it to me and go on her way to something else!

My feeling is: if no one sees it, you don’t have to dust it! Put all dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and try to remember, (really try) to put suds in and turn it on!

I found out early on in our marriage, you have to lift up EVERY object on a table, and dust them too! This is a little disconcerting since we have a lot of crap. The agency once sent me a letter telling me I was getting an award, and I realized what that would mean. I tried to turn them down, but they insisted, claiming: “Look, we have enough to dust as it is, at least take some of it for God’s sake!”

They’ve been getting away with now for years.

I’ve decided to leave the woman, if #1 Son calls again and says he’s coming!

Monday, August 23, 2010


As old age has set in, she seems to be a nervous type. She looks at me questioningly, often, her pretty head leans to one side as she ponders what am planning to do to her this time.

Sometimes I motion to her to come to me, and she does, with her head down, like she thinks she did something egregious and forbidding! I think that is good, since it keeps her on her best behavior.

Today I took her to be groomed. She smells like an old man who hasn’t bathed in months, and TLW (The Little Woman) and myself can’t deal with that. My little dog is getting old and time is running out on her, but she has yet to get used to people and foreign places outside her home!

Recently, I took her to the groomers, a place called: Pretty Puppy, it should be called Stinky Dog in her honor! I get her leash, she gets all excited, dragging me to the door, and then, once I open the car door, she starts to pull away. She cries and starts to tremble and shake, and all the reassuring in the world will not calm her. She has to be carried into the car, where she runs to my side to jump out when I open the driver’s side door to get in. I have to pick her up in a sitting position and put her into the passenger seat! The five-minute trip to the groomers is spent stroking her and talking gently, but she shakes and cries, making me feel very bad.

When we arrive at the groomers, she will make me drag her in, where the owner will greet her, and gently get her to come with her into the grooming area.

When I go to collect her at the end of the day, she is pulling me out, dragging me to the car and very peppy. She leaves a small loaf of gratitude on the groomer’s property, and then waters it and we are off. She sits up for the ride home, her tongue hanging out and her eyes alert.

Once home, she doesn’t go near me for the rest of the day!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


You may have read about my holiday decorating plan, how I like to decorate the house.
What I do is leave the box of decorations at the front door, and when someone comes to visit, they reach into the box and pull out a decoration and place it somewhere. Hopefully on the tree or a place that looks festive, and NOT where the sun don’t shine!

Well, recently I have been watching a show called: Little People, Big World. It is about two small, dwarfish people, a husband and wife named the Roloffs. They fascinate me because they achieve such huge things in their lives. They even have a son who is little, and all three are interesting! Having started out on a run-down farm, they have built an empire through intelligence, hard work and not taking ‘No’ for an answer. Their farm would dwarf what they started out with by a large margin. They also have three normal sized children who take life as it comes.

On one of their shows, they decided to decorate for Christmas in their newly expanded home. Matt, the husband asked Amie the wife if she would find the decorations and help him decorate. What she found for this huge house was a box of small decorations, not enough to do one room.

Old Matt had an idea. He goes on the internet and finds a company that will not only deliver decorations, but will put then up!

How I hate to put up the tree, pull down all the decorations and then have to put it all up on the tree. There is a snow village, and once there was a train set. Now the family is lucky if they get me to pull down the tree! The branches have to look full and balanced, as do the balls needing to be scattered just so, while the garland is hanging perfectly. Then you have to have people come to the house and say: OOH, how beautiful Ellen, I like what you did with the tree!” (Politeness sucks!) They only look at the tinsel and the balls, no one EVER says: “Wow! What a well-balanced tree you have!”

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Let me be the first to announce electronically, the joining in matrimonial bliss, the hands of Kimberly and Christopher, forever known as Mr. and Mrs. C. Ruvolo!

What is it about weddings that make me excited? Is it the pageantry, the ceremonial aspects of the occasion? Is it the fact that: two people are locked together for a lifetime? Is it the fact that a lot of joy is spread through family and friends? No, it’s the fact that there is a cocktail hour, dinner and dessert, not to mention a few drinks and a whole lot of dancing! Yes, why be transparent?

Of course my mother thinks that the only thing that matters is the actual ceremony. OK, Ma, but pass me a Jack Daniels and a little lamb chop with the panties on during the cocktail hour!

If the truth were known: whenever one of my sisters got married, I would stand there in the church watching, and a tear would well up in my eye. Yes, my sister was marrying! All those years we grew up together, all the times we spent at the dinner table, all the things we shared. And now the poor bastard is going to get his! And another tear would fall from my cheek. I thought to myself, if he bolts, do I wave bye-bye?

My Aunt Marie used to say to me when she fought with one of her kids: “Joe, don’t get married! If you do get married, don’t have kids. If you do have kids, drown them!” Of course Aunt Marie had her troubles, but she always had a plan.

Dad was still smarting from marriage until the he died! He would go around the house saying: “Still married to the same woman, for 50 years!” Mom would get a little annoyed and ask: “What do you want, a cigar?”
And poor Dad would just look at her and mumble: “No, a break!”

Of course marriage has helped men live longer. It is a proven scientific fact that married men live longer. That is of course, as long as he listens to his wife. She’ll keep him alive until the insurance becomes enticing, then he better listen!

Me, I’m now doing almost 40 to life, and no time off for good behavior.

Another scientific fact: Why do men die before their wives? They want to!

Now, before you start sending me lots of angry notes and emails, I’m only kidding! I know because TLW (The Little Woman) will read this and say: “You are only kidding, right?” Besides, it’s hard enough sleeping with one eye open, let alone two!

Friday, August 20, 2010


We all face that day when we have to let go. Death is not a pleasant thing, and our attachments make it that way. And so it goes with TLW (The Little Woman).

Recently her laptop died, and I am in mourning. Oh, we knew it was coming, but how do you really prepare for that? At first, we tried to baby the laptop, but it even knew it was time to go. We tried to ‘pull the plug’, but it still had a few hours of battery life in it, and then one morning, it came up lifeless.

Needless to say, there was some complaining by TLW, and some painful realization that she would now be intruding on my time on my computer.

“Oh, just once a day” is the promise. But I know better.

“Joe, could you look up on your computer…” or “Joe, I need to find…” or “Joe, go on Zillow and…”

There ought to be a law that frees husbands from the extra duties of a computer-less woman!

When I started out PC (Pre computer) with TLW, it was chore to get her on the darn thing, so I bought her a laptop, showed her how to use it and prayed for peace. Once she learned how to turn it on, the little things started to happen like: “Joe, there’s a window that says ‘go to file to open”! What should I do? Joe, there’s a clock running!” or the best yet: “Joe, there’s a thingy on the screen, what should I do?”

“Thingies” are the last straw, so I started to hide in the basement, attic and backyard, hoping not to hear her call me so she could learn to figure it out. That didn’t work, because she would find me, and I had to figure it out. Then after many years of this, she finally learned! I was sailing along, napping in my chair, while she surfed. Then it died.

“Joe, I can’t start it up anymore!”

Me: “Ok, shut down, then reboot and do exactly as it says, type it in word for word.

She does that and the machine says: type “Reboot-return”.
She types: (with all the unnecessary quotes) “Reboot-return”. TLW then tells me: “I did EXACTLY like it said on the screen!”
I look and sure enough there are the quotes in the language.
Me: “Toots, you don’t put in the quotes!”
“I did just like you told me, after all, you are the expert.” (All of a sudden!)

And so it died, and with it my peace!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The author of the following statements is unknown, too bad.

Great grandfathers watched as their friends died in the Civil War.

My father watched as his friends died in WW II.

And I watched as my friends died in Vietnam.

None of them died for the Mexican Flag. Everyone died for the American flag.

Texas high school students raised a Mexican flag on a school flagpole, and then other students took it down. Guess who was expelled...the students who took it down.

California high school students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo, because they wore T-shirts with the American flag printed on them.

Enough is enough.

This message needs to be viewed by every American; and every American needs to stand up for America.

We've bent over to appease the America-haters long enough. I'm taking a stand.

I'm standing up because the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in wars for this country, and for the American flag.

If you agree, stand up with me. If you disagree, please let me know. I will gladly remove you from my e-mail list.

And shame on anyone who tries to make this message racist.

AMERICANS, stop giving away Your RIGHTS!

Let me make this clear! THIS IS MY COUNTRY!

This statement DOES NOT mean I'm against immigration!

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, IN MY COUNTRY, welcome to come legally:

1. Get a sponsor!

2. Learn the LANGUAGE, as immigrants have in the past!

3. Live by OUR rules!

4. Get a job!

5. Pay YOUR Taxes!

6. No Social Security until you have earned it and paid for it!

7. NOW find a place to lay your head!

If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone, then YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM!

We've gone so far the other way. . . Bent over backwards not to offend anyone.

Only AMERICANS seems to care when American Citizens are being offended!

WAKE UP America! ! !

This comment does not necessarily reflect the view of DelBloggolo, but if it doesn’t, it is pretty close!

If you wish to write and call me a racist, be my guest, and if you need help in the vindictiveness, I can help you there too!



Wednesday, August 18, 2010


She stood over it, shaking like a leaf! Realizing what had happened overnight in the kitchen, she retreated into the den and found some newspapers in the early morning hours. Slowly unfolding yesterday’s news, she returned to the kitchen and with the papers opened, aimed for the center, hoping to make it in one shot, without having to do it over again because she missed.

Leaning at a 45-degree angle, she softly tossed the papers and waited for the results. She took a deep breath and sighed, for she had missed. Working up enough courage, she leaned in and snatched the papers for another try, and if she did not succeed, she would call her companion for 40 years to help in this crisis situation. This time she vowed NOT to miss. With all the courage she could muster, she made one more attempt. RIGHT ON TARGET!

As I descended the steps for my morning coffee, I met her at the base of the steps. She said nothing, but I knew. I knew by the look in her haunted eyes, the sense that my dastardly act had achieved what I hoped it would. I had no guilt, I felt it was time to take measures and ensure the peace and tranquility of my humble abode.

#2 Son had alerted us, had even tried to take matters in his own hands. But this was a job for a seasoned pro! No young whippersnapper could handle this job. It took me back to my salad days, when we lived alone, just the two of us, in a small cramped apartment. In those days, this was a common occurrence, so I knew only I could handle it.

“Wow! I see my little plan worked!”
TLW (The Little Woman): “Yes, when I woke up this morning and came down, it was there. I didn’t want to touch it, its behind was sticking out of the trap!”
“Well all you had to do is pick up the trap and dump him in the garbage can. Go ahead, it’s easy enough.”
TLW: “NO! You do it.”

Pepino the little mouse was dead all right, his tail sticking, stiffly out of the trap. I picked up the trap and went outside with it and dumped little Pepino in the can, scheduled to take a ride on Friday’s garbage truck!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I usually like to pick on teenagers and have a little fun at their expense, without being offensive. This time the tables were turned on me!

TLW (The Little Woman) suspects that there is a mouse (Pepino) residing in our basement, and gave me marching orders to buy a mousetrap. Now I don’t enjoy killing animals, or even injuring them, except for rats. (See a recent blogue)

I go to Sears and look around, and since it is a fairly large place, it is difficult to find the product you need sometimes. As I traverse the store aisles, I come upon this young fellow who is putting up stock.

“Where do you put the mouse traps?” I inquire.

“On the floor, usually with a little peanut butter!”

I just look at him for a moment, just to make him feel uncomfortable. I think he is funny, but he needs to earn his laughs at his age.

“I’m sorry. If you go to the Miracle Grow aisle, you’ll find it in there.”

As I leave, I ask if he has an agent.

On my finding it, and still smarting from the wise guy, I return to where I found him and ask: “Plain or chunky?”

“Oh! Go with the chunky, they like to work their teeth.”

The mouse trap I did find you put the peanut butter in a small cup, and 1/8th of a teaspoon worth and Pepino goes inside the trap, then you just throw the trap out, or, toss it over your back fence in a neighbor’s yard. Nice and clean, no getting emotionally involved with Pepino the mouse, slam bam, thank you ma’am and you are done!

Pepino, oh, you little mouse
Oh, won't you go away
Find yourself another house to run around and play
You scare my girl, you eat my cheese, you even drink my wine
I try so hard to catch you but you trick me all the time

The other night
I called my girl
I asked her could we meet
I said let's go to my house
We could have a bite to eat
And as we walked in through the door
she screamed at what she saw
There was little Pepino
Doin' the cha, cha on the floor

Cesta no surecillo a basoccella dinda mur
Ogna sere quella esce quanda casa scura
Endo dindo la cucina balla sulasu
A parrano malandrino pura un gabo sapaur

Pepino suracill ana parta scubari
Managa suracill a casa ma dai
Stasira da cucina nu poco di vino ci au lasciar
A quando si briaggo a Pepino giong apa

Pepino suracill ana parta scubari
Managa suracill a casa ma dai
Stasira da cucina nu poco di vino ci au lasciar
A quando si briaggo a Pepino giong apa

Quella non ci piace u formaggio American
Quella va trova no poca Parmesan
La fatto ghiata ghiat gusto ena cor
Quando cella camina para probino caladur

Pepino suracill ana parta scubari
Managa suracill a casa ma dai
Stasira da cucina nu poco di vino ci au lasciar
A quando si briaggo a Pepino giong apa

artist: Lou Monte lyrics
title: Pepino, The Italian Mouse

Monday, August 16, 2010


I read with great sympathy the plight of Steven Slater, the flight attendant who everyone seems to think had lost it on the incident he had with a passenger.

My question is why is everyone so surprised by his reaction to the passenger?

Isn’t it what is really happening allover America now? Aren’t we quick to use abusive language in public places? Aren’t we quick to think that our own universe is the only one that exists? It seems to me we all owe Mr. Slatter an apology, for accepting the rudeness of the woman on the plane. The mere fact that she: hits him with her luggage and doesn’t even apologize for hurting him! What’s wrong America? Isn’t that what we are tolerating now, rudeness to people, building mosques near sacred grounds and the hell with the victim’s families, driving while talking on the cell phone or texting, causing traffic to slow up, creating dangerous situations?

I notice we don’t make full stops at stop signs, will race to close a gap so someone can’t get in front of you on a highway doing 65 mph. We don’t get thank you from anyone, we disrespect the elderly, and the rights of all kinds of people, and then the press works up a frenzy about Mr. Slatter saying in essence: “Who the hell needs this kind of society? Where is civilization? I’m getting the hell out of the crazy world asap!”

The man serves the public for 20 years and decided: enough is enough, and the media jumps on him, not the nasty, childish passenger.

I know my baby sister is an airline attendant. I would not want to hear someone speak to her the way that inconsiderate loon spoke to Mr. Slatter. But my gripe is with what we are becoming as a society, not just airline passengers. I appreciate the stress that flying has become, but we are all in this together, thanks to some deranged towel heads and the morons that would defend them.

Meanwhile, Mr. Slatter was terribly wrong in his reaction. He did put people in danger by his actions and the drama that ensued. He really missed his chance by NOT suing the passenger and having her arrested for assault, the law was on his side and choose drama instead!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


One of those past hot and humid nights, I decided to have some ice cream. Being how TLW (The Little Woman) was sitting next to me, I asked her if she wanted anything. She said no, so off to the frig I go, with happy thoughts of butter pecan ice cream, sitting in my bowl.

Coming back, I start to eat the joy of ice cream, when TLW gets out of her chair and goes into the kitchen. I hear what sounds like a lot of rustling going on, on the countertop, and a clank into the sink. Returning into the den, she asks: “How is the ice cream?”
“GOOD!” I reply. Simple question, requires a simple answer.

Finishing up the dish of three scoops, I return to the kitchen and put the dish in the dishwasher, when I notice a spoon with the residue of ice cream in it. “Hmmmm, I don’t remember that spoon there before!” I think to myself. So I decide to ask a simple question. “Toots, how was the ice cream?”
Her response is as follows:

“But I only asked how it was!”
“But you asked me the same question, I just wanted a good or no good as an answer!”
“Good, or not, not a whole dissertation on my ice cream habits would have been enough!”
“You really shouldn’t talk in run on letters, it will be very hard to read on the blog.”

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I happen to have a colleague who I travel with into the city on occasion to conduct business. A genial fellow, mild mannered and pretty smart, and a little older than me, we get along just fine.

However, there is one thing that he does that made me decide to speak up. It seems he has a son who is getting married next year, and his daughter-in-law to be is his main topic.

“Rachel this and Rachel that. She works in a high-end jeans company. Rachel can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Yes it is true that Rachel can stop a speeding bullet with her bare teeth, and has more brains than a Oxford class reunion!”

Having to sit through this once or twice becomes painful. Not that I wish to deny him the pleasure of a great daughter-in-law (DIL), but come on, he is not the only one on this planet.

I decided to speak up.

“Oh, yeah? Can she make a kindergartener smarter? My Courtney can, and yes, she can cook, tell jokes and play scrabble like a champion, all at the same time!”

Him: “Who’s Courtney?”

“Who’s Courtney!? Why she is MY future daughter-in-law, that’s who! Not only does she teach kindergarteners, they are future Harvard and Yale grads! Not to mention future CEO’s and Picassos. Did I tell you Courtney is becoming an artist? Guess not, she is so talented I have to learn more than one language, because when she speaks to you, she sometimes slips into French, Spanish and Italian, while throwing in some Mandarin AND Japanese! Smart woman, that Courtney!”

“Son how come you never mentioned her before?”

“Well smarty pants, if you must know, she is very humble, and we had to sign a waiver of bragging form, get it notarized and signed, stating that her talents go unheralded by yours truly.”

“So you managed to keep it a secret?”

“Oh, sure. Did I tell you she’s beautiful, too? I think I DID mention it somewhere.”

Friday, August 13, 2010


I was asked to be part of a committee to select a new executive director for my daughter’s agency. I guess after doing it once before many years ago when the board replaced the old executive director, having had the experience, here I go again!

The problem with selecting someone is the reading of the resume’s, the things you look for, and the things that the agency needs, coupled with someone’s ambition, for whatever reason, makes for a tough time.

You have to wonder if there is any padding of the facts, if exaggeration is really half-truth or really half “what should be” in the eyes of the applicant. Eight or nine resumes were selected from a pool of many that could not make the grade. Being selective in choosing the people to interview is hard, and distinguishing the differences from the eight or nine seems monumental! I feel confident that they will be all qualified, but how qualified or to what degree remains to be seen.

Having had the first two interviews, my perception of each person was dramatically revised and shockingly, one was terrific, and one was ok. On paper they seem equal. I wonder if down the road, when I see them all, if the terrific one will even be: in the running.

A person’s life is in the balance, but more importantly, the agency’s future is also there for the changing. Since I love the agency, I look to protect it, its employees, and the wonderful souls we serve. I have done my homework, but feel it is not enough to just read emails, now I Google where I can and make notes, and compare the results to the resumes.

WOW! Life sure has changed since I sent out a resume. I don’t think it is any fun looking for a job, never interviewing for one, and certainly never when you must wait for a decision to be made about you personally.

I will be happy after the second interviews are completed, and a decision is finally made, for those who applied.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


This past Sunday afternoon, TLW (The Little Woman) and I were going to a funeral parlor to say goodbye to a wonderful man who had passed on, too soon in life. We had decided that we would go to the funeral during the afternoon, and afterward, go to dinner.

As I sat watching what the Mets were trying to call a ballgame, I noticed that TLW had changed her clothes to a more dressed look. TLW asked when we were leaving.

“I am waiting for you!”
“Oh no, you are not going in those jeans.”
“I’m not!”
“No, you should show some respect for the dead.”
“OK, for him I’ll do it, but I won’t be happy.”

Let’s face it, once you start wearing jeans, everyday, you love them, and don’t want to change into more formal attire. It is bad enough when I have to visit a client: I wear a suit and tie, funerals too?

When we got to the wake, I notice everyone was dressed nice. No one was dressed in Jeans, and TLW reminded me of that. In fact there was only one person dressed worse than me for a funeral in the whole place!

We approached the casket and paid our respects and then visited with the widow, who was dressed nicely, and some of my friends who were there. The chitchat was about the deceased, his life and achievements, and his final hours.

At dinner, TLW says: “I remember when your Mother would chastise your Father for dressing like a slob, now here I am doing it too!” (I sense bitterness)

Me: “Well, you know how I love to wear jeans now, since I retired. I just think people are getting less formal these days.”

Her: “That doesn’t mean you HAVE to, also!”

Me: “No, but if you noticed, the funeral we went to a number of years ago, the departed wore a New Jersey Devils jacket in the casket!”

Her: “Yes, that was the first time I ever saw that!”

Me: “Well this is the first time I noticed the deceased in a golf hat, collared shirt, and holding a rosary, While I dressed up!”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


In fact, let there be two lights!

No, I’m certainly not God, but sometimes I get directions from one, the Goddess TLW of crazed husbands, (The Little Woman), who in her quest for more quiet days, plans to sell the old homestead along with me in it, tied up in the basement. (She says she wants a one-bedroom, with a lot of space.)

You know the old story, and how it goes; you buy shoes, you need socks, then you need nice cuffs for the pants, so you buy new pants, that means you need a jacket, so you buy a suit, before you know it, a shirt and tie are right behind!

A new patio door system requires new lights for the nightlights to look good. So TLW goes out and purchases one for each of our den doors. This of course is where the expense ends, since she has a resident electrician and handyman. Me!

“Joe, we need a new light out side the patio doors.”
“We do!”
“Yes, I need you to put them up. You can put them up, you’ve done it before.”
“Hee hee, we need two lights.”
“It won’t take you long.”
(It won’t take HER long, me is another story.)
“We need to read the instructions first.”
“You need to read the instructions first, I need to take the old ones down, first.”

This is when TLW is at best, when she wears her shirt with four stars on each shoulder, for these occasions. (She is never out-ranked.)

Getting my tools out, I prepare for the ordeal of figuring out what to do, fighting with TLW on how to do it, and getting instructions before I even start. TLW prepares for the ordeal by trying to avoid my cursing both in English and Italian, having the proper medicinal supplies available, and a box for extra leftover parts. (I will eventually build a car out of them, I’m sure of it.)

In any phase of my life, I will find things that can go wrong, and try my best to avoid the blisters that come with it. This time out, taking out an old screw the builder used to attach the electrical box, is striped at the head, making me nuts. Finally it gets removed, and all the pieces are removed for the new installation. Of course the new stuff never fits perfectly, being how it is so much newer, and I’m so much older.

I rewire, stick on the caps ground the ground, and sound the sound, stuffing the wires in each light box so as put in the actually fixtures. Figuring out the plate, with TLW watching, leading and coaxing, I periodically drop a screw, or wire cap, and a few tools, sometimes in succession, making TLW wonder: “Where did I get this old fool?”

Finally I’m done, TLW runs to the fuse box to restore the electricity while I sit in a chair, looking at the light, saying: “Please work, don’t make me have to take you apart.”

After a lifetime of waiting, THE LIGHT GOES ON! Success, oh happy days are here again, I jump out of the chair and head around to the other side of the den, IT TOO SHINES!

“Success!” I shout, “I’m done!”
TLW: “Good, now go get a new handkerchief for the new suit you bought for the new shoes.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


It can only happen to me.

I sat in my doctor’s office waiting room, waiting for Smiley to call me in when the door opens and out of the inner office comes this short gentleman, about mid 80’s in age. He is somewhat smiling, but he looks confused. Wandering about, the nurse at the door says:

“Mr. R, please go and sit down.”

As I watch, I notice he is not paying attention to the nurse and is mumbling. Another nurse behind the receptionist admonishes Mr. R to sit down: “The doctor said for you to take a seat, he doesn’t want you to fall and hurt yourself! You are very unsteady on your feet!”

Still roaming his wife suddenly appears from the open doorway, and yells: “Dominick!” Pointing to a chair, she focuses on the chair with a pair of steely eyes, bulging and then says: “SIT DOOOWWWNNN!” It made me want to be sure I was seated! Not paying attention, I knew something was wrong with the old guy, as I got up and lead the old gentleman to a chair next to the back wall, and sat him down and sat next to him. This was done to save him from that witchy wife he had!

The wife returns to the inner sanctum of the doctor’s office and the nurse thanks me.

We sit and as I wait to be called, I take a magazine and start to read. Suddenly, the old gent is leaning on me. I think: “How nice, I made a new friend!” The old guy is really leaning now, and I’m thinking that maybe he is a loon. I look at him, and his eyes are closed. He is resting very still, and won’t budge.

Then it hits me!

“Nurse, oh nurse! Can you come here please?”

The nurse and receptionist both look out the small window and see the old man leaning on me, and I’m frantically pointing to the old guy!

“What’s wrong?” Yells the nurse.

“I don’t think his is doing too well!” (Grossly understated)

One of the other nurses comes running out and looks, and heads back into the office where she came from, then suddenly I hear a rush of footsteps, as the Dr. Smiley Face leads the charge! Taking the man by the shoulders, he calls him: “Dominick, Dominick, can you hear me?” Taking his pulse and checking it at his neck, he says: “He’s passed.”

At least the doctor was calm.

Me; “You mean, like he’s DEAD?” I think to myself: "Thanks a lot Dominick, now you ruined my day too!"

The doctor tells me to go wait in the inner office: HE will be with me shortly.

I try to get up out of the chair, but my knees won’t unbend! Pushing myself, I’m shaking like a leaf and head to the inner office, and a nurse leads me into an examining room. The doctor will be with you as soon as he can.

One hour later, the doctor shows up.

“We had a little excitement there for a while, sorry.”
Me: “You’re sorry! How is his wife?”
“Oh, she is giving us all kinds of grief, very uncooperative, had to sedate her.”
Me: “Any chance you can sedate me?”
“No, you get your physical today, and I’m already running way behind schedule.”


Monday, August 09, 2010


The other day, I started to clean up the kitchen when TLW (The Little Woman) left for work. I usually wash out her coffee pot and empty out the dishwasher from the night before, and clean up the counter top. With the weather being so hot lately, the humidity slowly encroached on me, and I had to stop! By just moving a little bit, I was perspiring profusely. Yes, I was really profusing!

I went out to my little convenience store, and came home with my breakfast, and even that was too much! So Up stairs to my studio I retreat, and start to work. All along the mind is playing games with me. I didn’t dust, I didn’t clean the bathrooms, and I didn’t do ‘nothing!’ What if someone comes today to pay a visit? As Mom would say, hang my head in shame?

Starting a design project, I couldn’t concentrate: the nagging feeling kept creeping into place and making me crazier than usual. (I know it is a stretch) I don’t like to clean the house, let alone vacuum, dust and whatever else there is. Then to make matters worse, I started thinking about my shed door, I need to replace that entirely, my patio door needed to be repaired at the time.

So I thought about it some more, went down to the den, turned on the AC and sat there, eating my lunch in the comfort of the cool air and decided that what I needed was a swim. Screw the dusting, the designing, and especially the shed door!

It is amazing what a nice dip in the pool does for my conscience! I couldn’t get out of the pool to do anything, even if I wanted: it was too comfortable!

Sunday, August 08, 2010


I spent the whole morning in the library digging for information and old prints and photos. Things were going so-so and the progress was steady. Sitting in the back room with the librarian assistant, I cracked open one book after another and make copies and notes. Suddenly, I was missing a publication that would complete a decade in the middle of the 20th century. Frustrated, I asked Caroline the librarian if she could locate the particular book.

Caroline is an attractive woman who has spent many hours in the college library, working. Her hair is in a bun, she wears thick small-rimmed glasses, and I swear, a pencil in her hair! Suffice it to say that the library is her life, or so I thought. Suddenly Miss Caroline became alive, vital, a sense of “I am woman!” was declared in her posture and demeanor.

Caroline works for the head librarian, an unmarried man in his middle 30’s, bald and very serious. Only his lips move. Short staccato sentences fill the air when one speaks to him, because that is what his feedback is. He too, has spent all his time in the library!

Being a brave sole, I noticed the change in Caroline’s appearance and since her demeanor had changed, I decided to talk to her more. Striking up a conversation with a strange woman is an art form in a sense. With what appears to be a lonely women can be dangerous! She would not stop talking! Suddenly I was getting her whole life story, her relationship with the head librarian (Thumbs down) and her non-connect with him.

Suddenly she was asking me if I needed more assistance, maybe a coffee, (She could run down and get me a cup, no trouble), if I needed anything, ANYTHING AT ALL, please let her know. The copy machine started to act up, and as I began to investigate it, she suddenly appeared, offering assistance and more help than I needed. I was starting to feel self-conscious. I was afraid to ask for anything more, because we were becoming very tight. Yes, like old friends, but her doing all the friendliness.

Reaching into her bottom desk draw, she pulled out her pocket book, went into a small closet where she found a straw hat and put on sunglasses.

“Now I’m going out to lunch! If you need anything, ANYTHING AT ALL, here is my cell number, don’t hesitate to call and I will come right back!”

I was at the mercy of my business partner who drove in with me in his car, and was at a meeting somewhere in the building. I decided to not think about it and concentrate on the task at hand. Soon my respite was over, and Ms. Accommodating had returned.

“Hi! Did everything go well? Is there anything you need? Did you have lunch yet, I can get you a sandwich at the cafeteria? Don’t be a silly man and work through lunch”
she cautioned me.

I informed her that I was having lunch with some people, and she suddenly became very interested.

Digging into my books, I was starting to feel like the nerd! I tried to focus on the books, even pretending I was deeply involved, when all I wanted to do was bolt for the door and the elevator.

Sitting at the desk, she pulled a chair over and sat there looking at me.

“What are you doing for the college?”

Telling her, it opened up even more questions.

“Do you want to interview me? I know a lot about this place!”

It is like shaking off flypaper!

Respectfully declining, she put her head down and a small look of disappointment crossed her face. Tugging my guilt complex was working.

Me: “But of course, maybe a little interview would round out the project. Next time I’m in town, if I have the time, we can do it!”

Of course I will never need an interview, hope not to do one, and pray she quits before I return once more.

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Recently I was at a family reunion for TLW’s (The Little Woman) clan. Although not everyone showed up, this is a big country after all, enough of them did to make it a reunion. Included were some cousins along with her nieces and nephews and their children. We adjourned to a meeting room in a hotel where most of them were staying, and as we sat around the tables, a thought that hit me, also hit TLW!

What happened?

Yes, that was the thought. What happened to those days where we discussed school districts, raising children, and work? What happened to those days when we discussed Nixon, and Watergate, and the Viet Nam war? What happened to those days when we discussed the oil embargo, and hijacked airlines to Cuba? What happened to those days where we discussed our parents, and their retirements and their illnesses?

What has happened?

As I sat there, our nieces and nephew’s children ran about, playing and giggling, and the adults at the table were seasoned, grayed veterans of life’s lessons, discussing Iraq and Obama and the cost of prescription drugs and recent operations. They discussed retirement and ailments, something we would never have thought to discuss 35 to 40 years ago! We all did our best to look like we did 40 years ago, and some of us did and some of us didn’t, and some of us didn’t even bother.

The people I saw resembled people I once knew, but strangely we were all more comfortable with each other now then when we were together 35 to 40 years ago!
Our parents were in the past tense, as is our lives now. We are all more tolerant then we once were, and life seems to have claimed our youth, but not our spirit.

The once happy days of our youth, those comfortable days when Mom and Dad were alive, giving us small lessons in life, are now the days we lend to our children, and then we too will be the past forever.

I guess life is bitter sweet: you can’t go home, because home does not exist. So we make our own homes, and wait.

Friday, August 06, 2010


The boxes stood outside, leaning against my den wall. Having purchased things that are very heavy take time to assemble and are complicated to some degree, I hoped to leave the boxes outside, and die before TLW (The Little Woman) would ask me to get busy.

In the boxes were the two sections or heavy sliding doors, which needed to be assembled, once I took down the old sliding patio doors. These new doors were our pride and joy, and the old ones were 14 years old, having been put through the mill between the dog going out constantly and #2 Son who smokes outside.

Knowing full well what lie awaiting me, once I took those doors out of the boxes, I would be committed to work a long and hard day, and then be committed to Belleview for some evaluation.

Then a great idea occurred to me. Let’s all go away on vacation! Nah TLW would not go for that idea with the old doors still standing. Maybe if I had a gastro-intestinal malfunction? Yes, that’s the ticket, “Too sick to do anything Toots!” Again I had to kill that idea: it was getting close to lunchtime. Then something startling and unpredictable occurred! I decided to put them up! Yes, and feeding this insanity, I went over to the old doors and studied the composition of assemblage, so as to transfer this highly sophisticated knowledge to the new doors!

Checking my plan I looked for what tools I would bring to this endeavor, this workshop on craftsmanship, this showcase of workshop expertise. I would need a screwdriver, a drill and my head examined for starting this.

Taking down the old doors, I was able to plan how to install the new ones. Separating the screws from each other, maintaining a tight work ethic, the old doors came down, saving the hardware. It is at this time that TLW stepped forward. Yes, my old nemesis, TLW would tell me how to do it, after careful study and planning on my part!

“I think this end is the top and that end is the bottom!”
Me: “No, this end is the top, and that end is the bottom.”
“Are you sure?”
Me: “Only to the point of death” (Which I hoped was soon upon me at this point.)
“Let’s look at the old door, it will only take a minute.”
Me: “We can’t, I wore it out looking at it already.”
“Now, this is the outside… so that means… umm, maybe it’s…. Yup, you are right Joe!”
Me: “Oh good! That means a complete moron is NOT working here today!”
“I would wait until you are done before making any declarations! Remember that year you got #1 Son a bike for Christmas, and you couldn’t figure it out, and YOU told him that Santa thought he asked for a unicycle?”
Me: “Don’t bring up that old saw, I had just gotten home from Mom’s Christmas Eve dinner, I was very tired. (The wine flowed)

But things were working! The old doors came cleanly and the new ones went in place, the hardware was fitting and everything was almost done. I assemble the lock latch, and it doesn’t fit exactly. The new door had a dimension slightly thinner! There was a slight looseness to the thing.

My whole day was ruined!

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Yes, dear!

And that in a nutshell was the conversation betwixt moi and TLW (The Little Woman)!

It all started when we discovered we needed a new patio door.

TLW: “Joe, we need a new patio door!”
That was the first hint, next came the fact that the door was falling apart!

Off we go to Home Depot, the land of expense and noise. As we enter the section for patio doors, I saw an opportunity to make a little mischief, and did not waste a moment. Standing in front of me is a door that I know TLW would not go for.

Moi: “OOOH, that’s a nice door!”
TLW: Waving her hands horizontally, like the second base umpire signaling a steal of second base, but yelling: NOOOOOOOO!
That her eyes were popping, her hands frantically waving, or her voice rising above the din of the warehouse did not stop me from pretending I was surprised.

Moi: “Why, what’s wrong?”
TLW: “We are NOT buying that type of door, we will get the replacements for the existing door only.
Moi: “Yes, dear.” (What a sissy I am with her! A real man would have made a little fuss before giving in.)

We happened to find a salesman, hiding behind a stack of paint buckets, keeping his head down, but he was too tall.

Me: (We are back to English) “Sir, can you help us?” Turns out he can!

We speak customer speak, and he punches in a few keys and finds what we want. That is always good news: the bad news is he only stocks half of what we want. The patio door is a slide version: that means one side is stationary and one door slides. He only has a stationary door in stock, one that normally sells for over $400, which he has for $85! Punching in some more keys he sends us to another store to get the balance for $85 also! What should have been well over $800 is less that $175!

We go to another Home Depot, and enter the department, where an elderly, sour looking gentleman is sitting. TLW speaks up first. (What did you expect?) He looks at us with a troubled look on his face, creating more wrinkles than a wet bed sheet on his face. I whisper to TLW: “This looks like trouble!”

Reluctantly he rises from his chair and saunters off, and we follow. Looking up into the stock he feigns confusion. Just then another salesman shows up! God must have been shopping there at Home Depot that day, because he immediately finds what we want, and says: “There it is, see, number 87528737, second one from the left!”

Grouchy: “Yeah, but it had the wrong skid number!”
God’s Helper: But the number is correct!”
Grouchy: But the WRONG skid number!

TLW: “How much?”
Grouchy: $85!

WE, that is: TLW and Moi (French returns, this is a special occasion!), fly out the store. WE, after 39 years have found a real bargain!

WE will go to sleep that night waiting for the call to come. You know the call, where they inform you that the price they gave us was incorrect and we better return the merchandise or else!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


She entered into the lobby, drifting in and out of sleep, strapped in a wheel chair. She slouched in her chair eyes rolling and her face serene. She wanted to stay awake, and she looked like she had too much to drink. But it wasn’t drink that made her drift so: no it was medications to calm her from the self-inflicted fright from something she did not understand.

Two people accompanied her to this place, where I sat waiting in anticipation of her arrival. The two people entered the large and cavernous building, one pushing the wheel chair and one cutting to his right to sign in. The woman behind the wheel chair knew me and waved almost immediately. We exchanged pleasantries and I accompanied her to a sitting area, where other people waited their turn in wheel chairs too.

My daughter Ellen was at the UCP clinic for a dental checkup, and in spite of the sedation she was under, I knew it would be hell, and I would probably pay that bill.

Slowly her curly head with black ringlets started to stir once more. I sat perfectly still and held my breath, not wanting to disturb her. Her eyes, started to flutter and her long eyelashes battered up and down, as if she was now switched on.

At first, she did not know where she was, and confusion overcame the landscape on her face. As she searched around for something familiar, her darting eyes settled on me. There was no reaction at first, then: as if on cue, her eyes brightened in recognition, but she could not get the strength to rise up and greet me. She rose from her chair slightly, and fell back. She knew I was with her, and that she would not be alone anymore.

Making sounds with her mouth, and no words coming forth, she was able to express how pleased she was to see me once again, clapping her hands and clicking her tongue. If she were freed from the chair, she would be hugging me, pounding my back and pushing me out the door almost saying: “Come on Daddy, let’s go home!”

As good as she made me feel, she also made me regret what was to take place. Once again I would betray her joy and trust in me. And when I was finished, not only would my heart be broken, but my spirit, and body as well.

A child like Ellen, who by the way is a 38 year-old woman, inflicted with Angelman syndrome, can not speak, and very rarely can express herself. She neither understands things, nor has the capacity to do so. I impose my feeling into her mind, and we both suffer for it.

I took over the wheel chair as we rolled Ellen into the examining room, and omitted the dental chair for the ease of keeping Ellen still, and comfortable. The examination would take place by a very pleasant man, one who had such compassion that he should be considered for sainthood.

As he bent over to look into Ellen’s mouth, he gently greeted her and told her what he planned to do. She blankly looked up at him and laughed. I introduced myself, explained who I was and how she did not understand and he asked me a series of questions. Then the fun began!

As he pried open her mouth ever so gently, she chomped down of the poor man’s fingers, and we had to literally grab her jaws and free his index finger! He gave her a sedative after calling the nurse at Ellen’s home, and she began drifting.

Confidently, but with some caution, the good doctor began to pry open her mouth, reach in to exam her gums and she clamped down once more, like a slammed door. Once more I reach over to get his fingers free, as she is now working on mine, as I yell: “Save yourself, doctor!” Fortunately neither one of us is hurt enough, and we are both free. Ellen is now flailing about, the wheelchair somehow comes unlocked and she is moving it into the nurse, shins first! Feet kicking higher than a Rockette’s, she is determined to do away with everyone, in one kick, and almost does.

The dentist, shaken up and badly mauled by my little girl, suggests I get her to surgeon, instead. As he flees the room, I thank him and bend over my daughter to see if she is calmed down. She grabs me around the neck, laughs and pounds my back! Another one bites the dust!