Monday, October 31, 2011


You’ve seen the commercial and the answer seems to be: “Not much these days!”

It seems that everyone is angry at the economy, congress, and the President, taxes seem to go up, cost of food and housing is going up, the cost of gasoline will rise again, and we wonder: “Will anything ever go done?”

Well let me assure you some things will go down, like your savings, your level of happiness, your income and your sanity. I guess this creates a balance, one where you can walk a tightrope and fall into the precipice of despair. Despair I think is rising.

I don’t carry pictures in my wallet anymore. It seems the kids all grew up, I have no grandchildren that anyone admits to, and I know what TLW (The Little Woman) looks like. I see her everyday so I don’t need to see her picture. I bet she doesn’t have one of me in her wallet either. I doubt my kids carry pictures of me or TLW or each other.

No, my wallet is filled with little papers, usually white and fading info is on all of them. Restaurant and store receipts, from so long ago, I transferred them from an old wallet back in 1996! There are some clearly written phone numbers on slips of paper, but I NEVER put a name to it. I think I will buy a phone that has an unlisted number so I can call these numbers, disguise my voice and find out who the hell these people are! I suspect I really don’t know any of them, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I am wondering what I did with this one and that one’s phone number.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the more it runs, the shorter it gets. It seems for someone retired I have a lot to do and no time to do it.

Then there are the incessant emails, the ones that state that I can now have a new career if I enroll in their college, and on line. There are the emails that tell me to pass them on or I will die in 3 seconds, some tell me to send them to everyone in my email list including them. (Why don’t they just send them to themselves and eliminate the middleman?)

Of course the diabetic salespeople keep calling from unlisted numbers, trying to trick me into talking to them. “Hallo, is Giossuph there?” Me: “Just a moment I’ll get him!” I place the receiver down and hang it up after I hear the dial tone or whatever that awful noise is the phone makes after they hang up. TLW admonishes me because she says they are only making a living. Well, them they have great jobs, just sitting there and getting paid for waiting for me to come to the phone. No heavy lifting, and they work indoors too! I used to tell them to stop the calls but they say they can’t.

While I’m at it, I hope Christmas, which they started to advertise in the middle of August is over soon, the paper recyclers are sending me nasty notes about all the catalogs. (In email form of course, and asking that I forward it to all my contacts in my email lists.)

I have decided to schedule four private celebrations just for me. The Mets winning the World Series, The Jets winning the Super Bowl, the Knicks winning the NBA Championship, and the Islanders winning the Stanley Cup! I know they haven’t, but I figure I would celebrate while I am still alive!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The dinner table as you know has become a venue for discussion about the Wanna-Be- Bank and Truss Co. As we head into each bite-full, we have discovered the internal policy of the Wanna-Be Bank and TLW’s (The Little Woman) view and assessment of said wanna-be bank.

We have analyzed the purchase of new headquarters, new branches established and even little machines located in some business establishments such as the IRS, this is the mark of a well-run enterprise. I am the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Company since I am what they call a “Member”.

So what does this all mean? I’m glad you are so inquisitive.

What this all means is TLW has to answer to me! After the so-called bank nearly taking over the world, and after 40 years of “Yes Dear” with TLW, I can now become the one barking. Yes, I will take charge. I am a member! All employees of the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Co. have to be nice to me: I am a member!

I think there will have to be some changes around here first of all.

For instance, when I enter that place, I want a coffee and Danish put in my hand, and for now on it is Mr. DelBloggolo when I show up. This is important to maintain discipline and boundaries with the workers. Also, when I enter the wanna-be bank, I expect everyone to look busy, not stand around chatting or even looking at each other. I don’t want to leave a bad impression with potential members; this could be setting a bad precedent.

Another thing: when I show up, I don’t want any more speculation as to why I am there. No more thinking: “I wonder what HE did that he’s taking her to lunch?” It is things like that that make for bad impressions with the fellow members.

Well, I’m glad I got that off my chest, I just hope TLW doesn’t read this.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


One Native American's opinnion

As you read this, Columbus Day will have passed. But it is never too late to air a grievance.

Columbus Day is usually celebrated by Italian-Americans to commemorate their heritage. They don’t have Italian-American Heritage month, many don’t have a day off for the most part, and they even have to share the holiday with the Hispanic Americans. That is all ok, since the air is free and both cultures have something in common, America.

My problem is every time I look around; someone says: “Hold on, the Vikings discovered America!” Then they go into these long stories and lay out ‘facts’ for their argument.

Here is my question: why isn’t Minnesota further east of where it is? If the Vikings discovered America, how come there are no Viking artifacts? Surely there would have been a Native American who witnessed it. And how about this-the rest of Europe had no idea the Vikings discovered anything, other than Norway, Sweden or Finland, and sometimes Denmark as sounded as A in neighbor and weigh.

Now in fourteen hundred and ninety two
Three ships sailed out to sea.
The Nina, and the Pinta and the Santa Marie.
And as they sailed the stormy seas that mad historic day
From way up in the crow’s nest you could hear Luigi say:
Please Mr. Columbus, turna the ship around
Take me back I wanna to feel my two feet on the ground,
Eh why you tella Isabella that the world is round?
Please Mr. Columbus turna the ship around.
Now Chris took out his mandolin and he began to play
They sung and dance the tarantella until the break of day
They ate up all the provolone and drank up all the wine,
But still up in the crow’s nest you could hear Luigi cryin’
Please Mr. Columbus, turna the ship around
Take me back I wanna to feel my two feet on the ground,
Eh why you tella Isabella that the world is round?

Here is what would have happened in America if the Vikings did discover America. Viking deli’s, Viking restaurants, and NO PIZZA!


Friday, October 28, 2011


Just when you think everything is under control, reality rears its ugly head!

I always knew there were other Del Bloggolos out there, and once many years ago got in touch with them, but they were only one family. There is my cousin’s wife and son who survives him, and that is all I know of. Then I get an email from an old sweetheart of a gal Martha (Scott) Phipps from my high school, and I quote to some extent:

“Hi Joe!

I was reading the wedding section of the Houston Chronicle tonight and found a write up there about Susan Clark and Vincent Michael Del Bloggolo getting married last night in Houston. When they listed the wedding party, there appeared one Anthony Del Bloggolo of Westbury, NY, Best Man, Christopher Del Bloggolo of Patchogue, NY (only they misspelled it to read "Patachogue", lol), and Groomsman Michael Del Bloggolo of Patchogue, NY (again spelled "Patachogue"). That's a lot of DelBloggolos! Any related to you?


Well Martha, ‘No!’ I don’t think so, but who knows? I can understand if you are worried that there ARE that many! These people may be impostors, trying to load up on my fame as a world famous screw-up and say they are the best at something too, or maybe they want to say THEY graduated from Bellport High School too! I wouldn’t put it past someone to try that last one!

However, what to do about MORE Del Bloggolos? That is a hard nut to crack, especially from this hard nut that IS cracked. My suggestion is if you know of one in the vicinity; try not to look him/her directly into the eyes, they may ask you to invite them to dinner!

I will pray that Houston, and in fact all of Texas; is safe.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I was reading on the Internet recently that Ford has built a new car, something innovative and unique. The car has some nice features, one of which is good-looking babes leaning on the cars. I always like to look at new models, but TLW (The Little Woman) won’t let me test-drive them.

The thing about this news is that this happens every autumn, the new cars come out, and everybody goes wow! Nice. NO GOOD.

These cars are in Germany. Germany is an auto industry leader: we in the USA are followers. Once we were leaders, now we follow, now we work to catch up. At one time, the mighty power of the USA was not in her industrial might, but in her ability to innovate, to bring new ideas to the forefront.

Where does the USA lead? We lead in weapons development. That should really make the world happier, more prosperous. Flipping through the channels one day, I came to the military channel. There were these soldiers from the US Army, setting up an artillery piece, then loading it. There was an aircraft carrier with jet fighters taking off, and I thought: How expensive, how wasteful. It may bring jobs, but we are shooting our money faster than we can make it!

I wonder how much that aircraft carrier costs? I wonder how much that cannon, the truck the pulled it into position and the ammo that was used all cost? HOW MANY STARVING BABIES COULD WE FEED WITH THAT MONEY. Would we have money left over after we fed them to maybe help a family pay for medical bills that could save a members life?

Don’t get me wrong, the USA isn’t the only culprit, all the nations on this earth seemed hell-bent on scaring each other, building weapons that kill and maim, and not feed the hungry, hail the sick or house the poor. Please, don’t hand me drivel about the USA being imperialist. All the world is imperialistic, lets stop the finger-pointing and point out solution to stop the insanity.

But getting back to Germany, Henry Ford built his company with production in mind, in the good old US of A, not in Germany. His plan was to build not only cars, this country, the people’s lives who live here, and to help stimulate thinkers to step beyond the ordinary, into the extraordinary.

I keep hearing the lyrics of Barry McGuire from the ‘60s “YOU DON’T believe we’re on the eve of destruction!”

Well if you don't...
2,000 blogs IS a lot of observation! Thanks for reading and not sending me white powdery stuff in the mail.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


It was this past October 5th, and as I was working on my laptop, the darn thing froze on me. The cursor was stuck on my desktop, and eventually disappeared altogether! This started about 3:00 or so, and I was worried that it would probably cost a bundle to fix. I would have to go to the Apple store, make an appointment and then go down and listen to a geek tell me things I didn’t want to hear, like you’ll see this baby in 2 weeks, maybe three.

On October 5th, TLW (The Little Woman) announced to me that she had just heard on her car radio driving home from work that Steve Jobs had passed on. In case your head is in a vacuum, Mr. Jobs created Apple and the wonderful line of products in computers and all things electronic.

As I sat down and absorbed the news, I felt bad, of all the products out there that are sold, Apple is my favorite, being how I won’t use anything but an Apple. Granted PC’s are cheaper, but Apple’s are consistent, reliable, and so much easier to use. In other words, any moron can use one, and I do.

I got back to my laptop and of course it would not do anything, including shut down! I tried all the keys, a combination of keys, and was almost ready to maybe kick it too. I even typed: "SHUT DOWN DAM IT!" Nothing. One last time I tried the power button and finally it responded! Shutting down, I decided to see if it would start up again, and it did, so I still use it.

I think the darn thing froze out of respect for Mr. Jobs! Coincidence? I don’t think so. Steve Jobs really knew what he was doing!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Going to my G.P. is a pain in the butt, and he’s not a proctologist. No, that honor goes to Rear Admiral Spielberg.

The G.P. Dr. Strangeglove finds ways to make my life miserable, impossible and annoying. He sends me to cardiologist Dr. Diapers, eye doctor, Dr. Ego, and of course Rear Admiral Spielberg. It was the Rear Admiral that gives a spiel on the importance of an end-to-end checkup.

He insists that I be there at 6:30 A.M., and then I make out more forms and sign my name to more documents than a house closing. The only difference in the two is he gets all his money up front.

I will say this for the medical center; the nurses are wonderful and make you feel like your butt is covered at all times, even when it is not.

Entering the medical center I said to TLW (The Little Woman): “Another old man getting a procedure done!”



Once inside we register at the desk, and “Take a seat”. After signing more papers, (These papers are to allow you to sign more papers in the prep room, which are not like the papers to filled out before you even got to the place, or the papers you filled out when you originally went to the Rear Admiral’s office.) I think the only ones who demanded more papers were the Nazis.

There are four couples at this ungodly hour. All are old shits like me, and all look like they may be doing this for the first time. Being this is my third, I will soon be able to talk to mothers about birthing, since I gave birth each time to enough gas to foil an oil embargo! There are two women and two men getting the procedure, and all look like they are afraid that this is their last day on earth. In a sense it is, it is their last day on earth with dignity, once the gown is swept aside, they use these tools to remove the dignity.

The anesthesiologist comes into the procedure room and introduces herself. She is young and beautiful, and I think maybe I should reschedule another colonoscopy for tomorrow too. She is very concerned about my comfort, and comes over and repositions my head, fixing a small pillow and then repositioning my head once again. Taking her truth serum, the stuff TLW must use, she injects it into a tube and says: “This will …”

Suddenly I look around me, and I’m in the prep room once again. There was so much I wanted to tell the anesthesiologist, but she is gone! I settle for someone’s great grandmother who tells me everything went fine, the doctor recovered all his tools and you can go home. Just don’t drive, lift heavy objects or swear out loud.

Colonoscopy is a procedure that can save your life, especially as you get older. It is preventive medicine, and I think for one day of inconvenience, the day you flush you system, the trouble is not so bad, and worth the time.

Please, if you think you should have one done, or your doctor thinks so, please, please do it.

Monday, October 24, 2011


It’s rather large. People often stop and stare at it, wondering: “How can he carry anything that BIG, around?”

It is the envy of his male friends, both of them.

Many times he will have to flip it aside, since it gets in his way, and when he sits it will bang against the chair!

He wears them and they remind him to never be caught short.

I once asked him: “Mr. Walker, sir, that is big, how did you get one THAT BIG!!?
He answered: “Sonny, by hard work and dedication, playing tennis and ringing my bells in the Methodist church choir, that’s how.” I think that pretty inspiring for a nice Jewish boy!

Of course we are talking about his car keys. Yes, and he wears them around his neck so he doesn’t ever forget them.

He forgot them only once. After I picked him up at the Park N Ride at exit 49 on the LIE for a trip to Albany. After the 3 and a half hour drive back to exit 49, he discovered he left the keys in Albany, and had to call his wife!

“Hello, Dear? It’s me, I left my keys in Albany again, and now I need to get home! You can’t come and get me!? Why?... You’re in Church, praying for my soul! Again? Then what! You’re going out for pizza! Could you leave the back door open for me?”

Oh, he took his suitcase apart on the LIE, desperately searching through his luggage. Tossing his Batman undies to one side of the road, his Liberace CD’s to another side, and his bottle of Milk of Magnesia across the parking lot, just so he could get a better look, there were NO keys! He feared he would have to walk from Huntington to Amityville to get home, and started to take off his shoes, so he wouldn’t wear out the cardboard soles!

“Mr. Walker, Sir, what are you doing?”
“Well son, heading home, If I get across the LIE in one piece.”
“Would you like a ride home from here?”
“Well son that would be fine!”

And so he climbed aboard once again, and as we drove toward Amityville, he could relate to another horror:

“Well son, I have the feeling I haven’t heard the end of it from DelBloggolo!”

“Yes Mr. Walker Sir, but I won’t embellish it.”

Sunday, October 23, 2011


About a year ago I made the decision to get my 93 year-old mother a cell phone. This was done with the idea that she would have immediate access to a phone if her land-line went down for any reason.

The trouble is that she will not use it, uses every excuse not to use it, then pretends that she tried to use it and it didn’t work!

Recently my older sister Tessie called (much older) complaining that she tried to call Mom, and there was no answer. So Tess tried Mom’s new cell phone, still no answer. Could I go over to Mom’s house and straighten it out?

Off I go to Mom’s house. I ring the bell and after a half hour she arrives at the front door.

“Oh! Joseph! And what do I owe the honor of this visit???”

“Gee Mom, I fell so welcomed!” Leading me into the inner sanctum of Motherhood domain, I ask for her cell phone. There is no question, so she knows why I am here.

I try to turn it on and nothing happens.

“Mom, your phone doesn’t work! Where is the book that came with this?”

“Book? There is NO book!”

I look into her eyes and I can tell she is not telling me everything.

I plug in the recharger and wait for it to charge, meanwhile we talk about family members and finally the phone is charged.

“Now Ma, your message mail box needs to be set up. Where is the book that came with this phone?

“Book? There is NO book!”

“Now Ma, there was a book when I brought this phone for you, you must have put it somewhere.”

“Oh, no book, I swear there is no book.”

“Ma, in December when I got this phone for you, there was a book, I know because I needed it to set up the phone!”

“Joseph, there was no book. Would I lie to you?”

”Of course not Ma, but you may have misplaced the book, no?”

“See what you can do without the book.”

I work for about 15 minutes and figure it all out, including setting up the mailbox. I decide to call Tess my older sister (Much older) to try out the phone and see if she can call me back on Mom’s cell phone.

“Hey Tess, since you called me and are my older sister (much older) you should have the honor of the first call. I’ll give you Mom.”

“Hello, Theresa? This is me, your brother Joseph set me all up, but it couldn’t be that hard, we are all set. Call me to see if I ring.”

I stand in front of her and state: “Ma, for now on you will begetting calls on your cell phone so you learn to how to use it. I want you to use it to call out, also.”

“OK, now, I push this button here and I dial?”

“No Mom, you dial the number you want first and then push the green button.”

“Oh! OK, I push the green button…”

“No Ma, you dial first then push the green button!”

“Oh! Why didn’t you say that in the first place?”

“Ma, I did.”

“Don’t get so smart, I can still crack a wooden spoon on your thick skull, you are not too big to get it.”

Dear Mom, I called her later in the day and she didn’t pick up her cell phone to answer. But she did pick up her land-line phone in the middle of the first ring!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


The other night TLW (The Little Woman) and I were having dinner when this conversation came up after I asked her about her religion class she teaches for 7 year olds.

“So did you introduce Jesus to the little heathens?”

“Oh Joe, they were really shocked when I discussed confession to them, what they had to do and all. One little boy asks what if you don’t have sins?”
I started to chuckle and TLW asked what was so funny.

“Well when I went to confession in the city, there was only two sins I confessed to. The process went down like this:
Bless me Father for I have sinned, it’s been one week since my last confession. I aggravated my mother and father and I used the name of the Lord thy God in vain”.

This stops TLW cold.

“How old WERE YOU to be cursing?”

“Oh, maybe 8 years old.”

“And you said aggravated! I used ‘disobeyed’.

Well, I was only 8 years old, Mom would say I was aggravating her to death, and would go on with: WAAAAAIIITTTT until you father comes home, just wait! There was her additional line of I HOPE WHEN YOU HAVE CHILDREN, THEY DO TO YOU WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO ME!” I think she used that last intonation to scare me.

Being 8 years old, there weren’t too many sins I could come up with every Saturday afternoon by 4:00 PM. “AGGRAVATING” was a good word to throw in after only six days and two sins.

In those days dear old Mom strove to have my soul saved by any means possible. She used two methods, one was the wooden spoon, where she had an arsenal of different sizes, depending on the offense and it’s magnitude and one was the confessional. By sending me to the confessional, her hope was that at least one hour of saintliness would stick, and she would supplement it with hours of chasing me with the wooden spoon. More often than I care to remember Mom would chase me around the dining room table, and after a while of trying to catch an evasive bad boy, would sit and rest in one of the chairs for a minute or two. When she looked like she was getting bored, I would ask: “OK Mom, are you ready?, and she would try to lunge with the spoon as off we went. She was dangerous with the spoon and crafty, often aborting the rest before I was ready.

I think I was 12 years old when I realized the lady in her wedding picture was her, and she did NOT look like the end of an index finger pointing at me!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Being a grandson of immigrants, I can remember the issues of speaking with them, especially when I was younger. Having come to this country as young Italians, (my grandmother was only 15,) the conditions were not welcoming. What did Italian immigrants do? They did what the German, the Polish and every other non-speaking English immigrant did; they went to communities that spoke their language. The hostility that greeted them from the “Natives” was pretty blatant, and so they had to gather themselves for self-preservation.

I can remember how frustrating it would get when Grandma or Grandpa would ask a question, in a mix of broken English and Italian, and we needed translations from our parents or aunts and uncles to clarify meanings.

They worked all day long, then went to a second job, or took work home with them after hours. Their lives were hard. What the hell were they doing in my country? Making it better for me, and my parents, and my children.

We should be born old, and get younger, but born with the older person’s understanding and logic in life.

Today I read the papers and there is a movement on for “English Only. Por favor!”

I see immigrants lined up outside on street corners, looking for work to feed their families. The community as a whole resents this, and works to prevent it from re-occurring. I can understand the fear of the unknown; I can understand the resentment of the after effects from their gathering in front of businesses. What I don’t understand is how we forget our own personal history, how we got to be American citizens in the first place.

Why are we making life hard for people to survive! If I lived in a country of poverty, or dictatorships and void of any hope, I’d want to leave it too, and find a better place for my family, for myself. This is not to say that those people living in those countries should fix their own problems, but it must be awfully hard when you look down the barrel of a rifle aimed at your head, the truncheon that strikes across your back if you protest, the fear of losing your child or mate or your own life from an oppressor, while those around you live in silent, inactive fear.

So what can we do?

We can instead of wasting our time and breath in protest of these people, in denying them a chance to live, to be able to just live like we do, we can direct our energies toward finding places to send them to learn the language, without fear of being deported, and not charge them to learn it. Think about it, how many places can they go to learn the English language, and living in poverty, how do they pay for it, and how will they get there?
Here is one solution I offer.

If you live in a community where you speak Spanish and are fluent enough in English, take the time and find a place and teach your people to speak the English language. Do this out of love, for your people, your heritage, for your future generations. Help level the playing field. Doing this in every Spanish speaking community would solve a lot of issues culturally in the country. It would help bury resentment, and would create a new respect for your people.

No child in my country should be deprived of anything when it comes to the necessities of life. No adult should live in fear for his child, his wife/mate, and himself. Arguing they are here illegally makes us a non-Christian country, a bunch of hypocrites. On the same token, if you live in this country and are not helping your own people to assimilate, you have no reason, no cause and right to be in this country also.

I don’t like the idea that there are illegal immigrants sneaking into my country. I don’t like the idea of giving away entitlements to illegal immigrants. But my discomfort is far less than my discomfort with the idea that someone has to sneak across a border, endangering his own life, and maybe the life of his family. And why is he doing this: for the hope of a better life. I can’t blame him.

Maybe the churches and temples should start instituting programs for English as a first language. Gather the non-English speaking people and two nights a week teach them English. It would be a start, it would close a gap and it would make all the immigrants a lot safer, and our communities more secure.

God knows we all have prejudices, the blacks, Asians and Hispanics as well as the whites. Let’s stop finger pointing and let’s start helping each other. And one more thing: let’s learn to laugh at each other and ourselves, there is nothing wrong with that. The problem with Illegal aliens is we keep them form being productive, so we shoot ourselves in the foot.

We all have work to do.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


“DIG WE MUST” indeed.

Many years ago, ConEd had a slogan that they used in their advertising. Why a utility advertises is beyond me. They don’t have any competition, and in the summer they even ask you to cut down on your consumption! The slogan was: “Dig we must” borrowed from ConEd’s CEO’s proctologist at the time.

Having an appointment as an older person, you go every three years, and the doctor goes after your colon. Hopefully he isn’t absent minded when he works and loses things, or forgets to gather all his tools.

The very first time I went to my doctor, he showed me a chart of the stomach, and claimed that the intestine runs more miles than Amtrac, and like Amtrac runs from your wazoo, through Chicago and out you wazoo once again. Wazoo is the medical term for a connection between your wallet and his bank deposit slip. I remember not following the doctor after awhile, thinking: “ he’s gonna shove what up my what?!”

Of course the procedure is easy, they put you out, but it is not the procedure we want to talk about. No, something goes on before hand. Yes, the snake with the camera goes to places unheard of, all while you lay there asleep. Before they can allow that snake to do his thing, they give you a prescription to take to the pharmacy, and you return home with a box that could hold a small desktop computer! Simply little things like swallowing a drink become suddenly not so simple, and not so fast. For good measure, they make it taste like you just butt licked your dog! (Pardon my vulgarity and crudeness. Please don’t tell my mother!) Another thing that comes to mind is the space shuttle launch. You know, when at Cape Canaveral, the rocket reaches new heights with an after burn so intense. You are the rocket.

Some things that may go through your mind if you stayed awake during this procedure:
  • "Find Amelia Earhart yet?"
  • "Take it easy doc, you're going where no man has ever done before."
  • "Can you hear me NOW?"
  • "Oh boy, that was sphincterrific!"
  • "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"
  • "You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married."
  • "Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?"
  • "You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out. You do the Hokey Pokey ..."
  • "Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!"
  • "If your hand doesn't fit, you must acquit!"
  • "Hey, Doc, let me know if you find my dignity."
  • "You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?"
  • "Could you write me a note for my wife, saying that my head is not, in fact, up there?"

But like when you bang your head against a brick wall, (I had teenage children) once you stop, it feels so good. You come out of the procedure, and head for the nearest restaurant for breakfast, a big one, with coffee and milk in it. No fooling around.

The procedure I will give in detail. They make you sleep and you swear you are still waiting to begin afterward.

Then they consult with you. You make an appointment so they can charge you and tell you everything came out OK, literally.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I got an email survey from Carnival Cruise about the cruise I recently organized. I like to be as kind as I can in these types of inquires, because people’s jobs are involved. But saying that, peoples hard earned money is also involved, and if staff is uncaring, that is arrogant and disrespectful to the customer.

Carnival hires wonderful people. They are very good at their jobs for the most part, but some early morning observations of some unsupervised help is in order.

The Lido or 9th floor of the Carnival Glory has these large windows that surround the cafeteria like deck. One morning while having a cup of coffee, this woman has a squeegee and rag and is supposed to clean the windows. I watch as she slowly, ever so slowly goes from window to window, making me want to get up, take the darn squeegee and do it so it would get done. Moving like she was trying to sneak past a sleeping bear, she goes from window to window. With great effort she applies a solution on the windowpanes, and starts to work. She only cleans the bottom half of the window! She doesn’t even stretch a little.

Then in Spanish she calls out: “Maria” asking a question out loud, apparently Maria is working somewhere on the deck, and she continues to call out for Maria, who seems to ignore her or can’t hear her. She says some more to another woman, who comes in, in Spanish, they laugh and back to semi washing the windows.

In the survey, they ask questions like how I liked working with the sailing crew! Well Carnival Cruise Line if you must know, we didn’t sink, they never said a word to me and so I liked them.

They asked me how the quality of the food was. I guess it was excellent, but I didn’t care for the meals, as they were prepared, nothing really special except maybe the warm chocolate dessert. So what was really the question? The quality of the food was great, but there was no imagination in preparing it.

Getting on board the ship took over one and a half hours! I thought the questionnaire would allow me to vent my frustration about that, but no, they didn’t ask me about that experience, they ask about how it went when I left the boat!

Don’t get me wrong, the cruise was fine, but I hope they really read those surveys they take and adjust, because I love to cruise, I love the sea. Besides, if I get drunk, they can leave me there, I am home already!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The other day, TLW (The Little Woman) decided to discover the world of left-handers. In baseball they are called ‘southpaws’. She discovered that 5 out of the last 7 President’s were lefthanders. Most engineers were lefthanders. She claimed that lefthanders are generally speaking better looking, smarter, and just down right wonderful. About only 10% of the world population is left-handed.

Lefthanders spend a lot of time telling the world, or 90% of the world how wonderful they are. 5 of 7 of the Mac creators were left-handed! I happen to know a left handed person who lives with me, sleeps with me, and eats with me, and sometimes will peruse her laptop. Every now and then, ‘Lefty’ will come across a need to do something other than just read a web page. She can’t! No, she calls upon a right-hander to help her out. A non-pc person, a Mac user, is where she seeks help!

Her list of great ones went on and on, pausing only to gasp for air. She further explains how she lays out money at the Wanna-Be-Bank and Truss Company, paints a wall in the opposite direction of the norm, and all other sundry attempts at normalcy.

Some of what she says is true: some of what she’s selling me is not!

However, I must offer this theory as to why a lot of famous people are left-handers.

Left-handers live in a right-handed oriented world. As right-handers, we go through the world unchallenged, but not so with left-handers. Necessity is the mother of invention! They struggle and find a newer way to do things. This brings on new ideas, sometimes better sometimes not.

For over 40 years, I have been going to weddings and functions where we sit at round tables, for a dinner. More often than not, I end up without a water glass. The person sitting on my right has my water glass. Why? The glass is set to go on your right: the one on your left is for the person on your left. TLW sits down usually on my left so that our hands don’t bump into each other as we eat and drink. She immediately reaches for a water glass on her left, starting a chain-reaction, which leaves me thirsty.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Leave it to those Texans, to do things their way.

Every prison in America has entertained the idea of a condemned man’s last meal being an extravagant affair.  You are going to die in a few hours so what would you like to eat, don’t worry about the cost: the state will pay for it. Oh, just so you know, it should come from local sources: the accountant gets all weepy if the expense report includes out-of-state or foreign costs.

Not so in Houston, Texas any more!

Officials decided to stop the practice on September22, after a state senator complained about a large request from a man executed for his role in a notorious dragging death. Now, inmates get to eat only what the kitchen serves.

I got to thinking, what would I choose for my last meal. There are two ways to go on this. 1.) You ask for something you hate, and on the way to your execution, you are glad that you will never eat THAT again. B.) My way: I order French onion soup, Chinese dumplings, (Fried, I know they are not healthy) a pepperoni stick with a sharp parmesan cheese, a nice rib eye steak, medium done with French fries, broccoli rabe, an Italian submarine sandwich, a quart of Guinness, and for cocktails a Jack Daniels Manhattan with shrimp cocktail, and extra spicy sauce, some fried calamari with spicy marinara and Tabasco sauce, and finally for dessert, a hot fudge sundae with wet walnuts on vanilla ice cream.

If I’m still alive after eating that, I know I’ll be begging to be executed to get over it, because quite frankly, I'd want to die!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Dad always had a knack for getting into some kind of innocent trouble, and his son is no better. Often, when you took Dad somewhere, something funny always happened, and he was the victim of it. We would be laughing years after, and after a while, he would laugh too.

On board the ship were a couple named Pat and Vinnie Marcoccio. Pat is a very sweet classmate of mine, who is married to a great guy, one I am always happy to see. Vinnie, MCV (my cousin Vinnie; as I named him, because he is cousin to most of East Patchogue NY) reminds me of who I am, and that it is important to be yourself.

When I was in college trying to earn money to pay for it, there were people that worked in the shop where I worked. They were homebodies, down to earth and just real. They would call me: “College boy”, and would tease me about life’s lessons and what I won’t learn in college. (They were right!) Many were poor and some had money, most cared about their families. I never knew Vinnie back then, but he did work for the same company I did long before me. All these people were unpretentious, just good human beings. That hominess took over me, and I loved to chat with them.  MCV took me back immediately to those wonderful days. I am MCV!

Anyway, we were leaving some event one day on the cruise, and MCV was walking ahead of me, and Pat was walking next to me. One thing Pat likes to do is talk, not about anything but what she remembers about something that relates to what is being said in the present time. Pat loves MCV, and MCV loves Pat being married close to 50 years. The trouble is, Pat doesn’t always pay attention to where she is apparently! As I am walking with her, she starts to reach down, take my hand and slowly swing it like we are young lovers! I look down, my brain and tongue frozen over, and I can’t get a damned word out! Suddenly she looks up a little and screams: “You’re not wearing a black shirt!” She thought I was MCV, but I was wearing a black shirt!

MCV? He just thought it was funny.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


It’s funny where life takes you: you just go along for the ride. 39 years ago, who knew where it would take TLW (The Little Woman) and me.

As we sat in our recliners, watching the Big Bang Theory, a show #1 Son helped to write, we anticipated his name appearing in the credits. Yes, my son’s name would be on TV once again. It is something that never gets stale.

I remember when #2 Son graduated from elementary school. Awards were being given out to the students for various reasons, and suddenly his name was read out! It lifted me from my chair, I thought: “My son!”

Then #1 went to work for my company and I was suddenly his father! I had lost my identity, and he was making a name for himself.  And when he was writing for TV, and sometimes appeared on the shows, it would cause TLW and me to jump out of our chairs with excitement.

But I remember the Saturday mornings when he was a little kid, watching his cartoons, having a child’s life. I remember the ball playing, the catches, the sports talk, the songs I would sing that made him laugh, I don’t remember thinking he would be on a national televised TV show, his name in the credits. But I do remember telling him that he could be anything, ANYTHING he wanted to be, because he had the tools to be successful, he was only 5 or 6 at the time.

I’m glad I can’t take credit for what he’s done. He did this all himself, by himself, but yet I sometimes think he did it for his mother and me. And so now he reaps the benefits of his hard work, his self-dedication and work ethic.

I know that pride is not supposed to be a good thing, but I don’t know how to describe the feeling about him his mother and I have, without that word.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I’m coming out of the closet and admitting to being a vampire! I know, that’s crazy but I have to admit, I’m getting the symptoms of one.

My chair in the den is situated to face the TV, like any guy, I need full frontal view of the Mets screwing up a game, the Jets giving me a heart attack late in the game, the Knicks lulling me to sleep, and the Islanders leaving me cold, once again.

Around 10:30 am, when the sun is out, it shines into my den from a skylight I have. The sun will shine right into my eyes, and if I am working on my laptop, it will interfere with the screen and blind me. Similarly, around 2 or 2:30 in the afternoon, it will re appear from my back window, a large window with a view of my back yard. It too becomes difficult to read the screen of the laptop, obliterating everything on the screen. I hate it.

If you didn’t know already, I love rainy days, I love the sound of rain falling gently on the roof, I love the evenness of the gray light that never makes it difficult to see my laptop screen. It is very inductive for taking naps in the early afternoon, and for watching old black and white movies on the TV. Winter afternoons and early evenings bring a certain comfort to me, taking me back to my commuting days when I worked for a living, and traveled the LIE. Now on those days I put on the traffic channel with a cup of tea and enjoy watching others live through it.

Yes, I am a cranky old man, but one that likes order. I designed the room myself, to take advantage of the sun traveling across the sky to afford me maximum sunlight! So why the hell am I complaining?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I was on one of our tours for a company. The day would be spent in the Bronx, and that morning in the Bronx Zoo. A guide would take us through the Congo area where the trail eventually leads to the gorilla section.

As we walk the winding trail, we suddenly stop, and people are all excited. I look around and see everyone looking in one direction. I notice a small telescope pointed toward the ground, beyond the fence. There is some laughing, but I’m not paying attention because I’m busy shooting a picture of an animal off in the distance.

With me is my partner who is busy counting the people in our group, as I am doing, to make sure no one straggles or gets lost.

Coming up to the fixed position telescope, I look into it and there sits this large snake! All curled up like a garden hose, looking very menacing! I’m impressed! A big old snake: looking menacing, looking dangerous, looking hungry, looking ready to strike. I wonder how they manage to keep the snake in that position and why the telescope is fixed into position, you can’t move it?   

I take my camera and start shooting, taking great pains to get the whole thing. I hear what sounds to me to be my partner laughing. Pam is on a roll, the volume intensifying as I jockey in position for the picture of this wild life phenomenon. I wonder what is so funny? She is looking at me, and bent over in the giggles, which are getting louder.

Me: “What is so funny?”

“That is a rubber snake! You are shooting a picture of a fake snake!”

Why the hell would a zoo with live animals put a rubber snake on exhibit? WHY?

Working with my partner can have its consequences, from presenting a presentation where I nudge her under the table with my foot because she is confused and I know what is going on but didn't tell her to rearranging someone’s sushi lunch because we think IT IS fake!

I have to live with the fact that I shot a rubber snake! Who will remind me but TLP.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


My partner and I ran a tour into the Bronx and it centered at the Bronx Zoo and Arthur Avenue, that other Little Italy in NYC. Creating these types of tours are fun, and although they take time to do, finding the bus, getting admission tickets to the zoo and working out logistics, it does have its dangers.

One of the issues we deal with is keeping 20 to 55 people together at all times, or giving them designation places and times to meet. You count them when they get on the bus, when you discharge them for the different locations, and then before we leave for the next destination.

We have a bus driver, a nice fellow named Victor, who is seasoned, and we assume that the bus company tells him where to go and how to get there. If not, he should ask my partner or me.

We visit the zoo and head for Arthur Avenue, the home of generations of Italians that came to this country, established shops and restaurants and then through the years handed down these establishments to their children. It is a national landmark, called the ‘New’ Little Italy. You can buy only the best imported cheeses, meats and great bakery, pastries, breads and cookies, all Italian in orientation.

One other thing about Arthur Avenue, it is divided in half by a park! One half is NOT the Arthur Avenue I described, and half is.

Our illustrious driver Victor left us off at the wrong end of the avenue. He did not know where he was, we got off and started to walk when we realized that! My cell phone started to ring, when a group ahead of us, some with wheel chairs, called all in a panic!

What to do? Fortunately, we had the drivers cell number and we were able to reach him. He comes, stops traffic and reloads the bus, and finally gets us there.

What’s that old adage about Murphy’s Law?