DelBloggolo

Thursday, March 31, 2011

ANOTHER YEAR!



Today I celebrate the 5th Anniversary of DelBloggolo! In 2006 I decided to start this thing, and it continues to write itself ever since. Over 1765 separate ‘Blogues’ (I like the spelling better, more classy!’ 1,765 times I’ve written, I wonder how many words, letters and ideas that was!

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I will try to continue to write this thing until I get threatening letters or comments, then I will take a nap, eat something, have a Jack Daniels Manhattan and write some more.

Over the years I have built a small cadre of readers, a core of loyal friends and I do it for you guys, loving to write, and loving to express myself without interruption. Well, almost, she does still speak up when I write!

I would like to thank you all for reading, for your loyalty and especially your comments! The comments are the forces, which drive me, hearing what you think no matter how serious or silly, just like this blogue, and blogger.

Thank you all, I love you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

GETTING TO KNOW YOU


I’m having a great time getting to know Courtney, my future daughter-in-law! We have accompanied her to a number of appointments to help her plan the wedding, and we have learned a good deal about the area of Maine/New Hampshire, and the idiosyncrasies of living in the great northeast.

All that aside, meeting with event planners, photographers and places to hold dinners for the bridal party the night before, has been a lot of fun.

For some insane and lame reason, the Catholic Church refuses to have weddings on Sunday in the state of Maine! So we are spending some time looking for a place where we can hold the ceremony for the kids.

There was the florist who made fun of my NY accent, but I was nice enough not to respond, although the name of her business is ‘Brenda’s Bloomers’ and I didn’t go there, even though she HAS A FUNNY ACCENT. But if you wish to hear what I was thinking, send a note and I will be glad to tell you!

But with all the running around and sometimes disappointment, our gal Courtney, kept a sweet disposition and always laughed, even spending all that time with me! There is one issue I have with TLC (The Lovely Courtney). Whatever she orders, I seem to order also! Almost every restaurant and meal, she would order, and I wind up ordering the thing! This is killing me, the meals are all low fat! No one will recognize me soon if this goes on!

Good God! I could then use my bloomer joke on me! (I’m not that far from it now.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WHOLE WORLD, MY NEPHEW GERARD!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

IT’S LONELY IN PORTSMOUTH!

Its motto is: “Live free or die.” It should really be: “It’s winter, wake me up if anything happens!” The reason they don’t use that is it won’t fit on the license plate.

The city of Portsmouth is located right next to Maine, and although located in pretty country, no one really knows it is there! The only thing to do there is eating and sleeping! Yes, it does have an airport, but that is only for departing flights. No one goes there, they get stuck driving through, so they need to be evacuated, thus: an airport!



The internet; is a real issue, since only one person at a time can use the computer, and only one page at a time can come up!

The streets of Portsmouth are usually deserted, except when someone is on his way to the airport. They have a ‘Rush hour’, but no one comes!



I went to the local bar one night looking to watch a sporting event, reruns of the 2004 World Series on TV was all they get. I asked if anyone follows the Sox up here and they said: “yes, he’s out now, looking for them!” The TV itself is an old RCA, and every now and then someone goes up to it to adjust the rabbit ears if you ask politely.



Of course I am being harsh, it is a nice place, just don’t come in the winter, come when it is summer. The people return along with the crocus and the birds.

Monday, March 28, 2011

IT’S NO EASY PASS



There we were on our way to Maine, cruising along at 75 mph, across the LIE and the Cross Island, when we crossed the Throgs Neck Bridge when suddenly things took a turn for the worst

As I came to the tollbooth, my worst fear came to reality. The red barrier bar would not go up! TLW (The Little Woman) fiddled with the Easy Pass tag, but the bar stood still. Panic started to set in, the cars were lining up behind us with impatient drivers, and now the police were on the scene!

Standing next to the driver’s side, was a policeman, and who tapped on the window.

“My tag won’t work!”

Taking the tag he scans it and says it is not registering, and to follow him, that we will have to pay cash and waves us through to a spot beyond the toll plaza. Very politely he tells us that we will have to wait where we are, in this yellow box! It looks like I am parked on a penalty box, and all the world knows it!.

I tell TLW that I will visit her when she goes to jail at least twice a year, since it was her fault. I think Christmas and her birthday will be nice. Of course she goes to jail since she was suppose to pay the bill for the tag!

TLW never read the notice from the toll tag people that she had to put more money in! The reason was because at Christmas, we canceled a credit card that we paid the bill on because we thought it was compromised, turns out it wasn’t, and forgot about the tag was being renewed by the same card! We got a ticket and had to cash pay all the way up to our hotel!

Funny how you take some things for granted and then miss it very much when it is gone! I wonder if I'll miss her while she does her time?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

TESSIE GETS OLDER!



As the oldest child growing up in Brooklyn, Tess, or Tessie as I call her, was more like a second mother to me. She was as a very young girl, or should I say child, very responsible, and was always there for me. She was a great older sister that looked after me, took me to school on my first day, bought me chocolate milk and cookies, and made sure I was settled down in Kindergarten. On Saturday afternoon, it was off to the Colonial Theatre for a double feature, cartoon and candy, and it was Tess who took me there for the first time.

She was a little old lady, who could cook, clean and boss me around with the best of them, and did it quite well! All her basic training came at my expense, but she never let me down. When there were bad times, she was there to help me understand them, when there were good times, they were all mine, even though she celebrated with me.

It seemed to me all my childhood that she was there for me, for the family, cheerfully doing what was necessary to help us survive as children in a grownup world, where the demands were for us to be adult like, yet know our place as children.

Often, together, Tessie and I would go to NYC to buy cigarettes and candy for my Dad’s store on Fulton Street, riding the subways to get there, or off to the meat market for Mom for the weeks worth of meats. I spent many a Saturday at Spinner’s Supermarket helping her shop for Mom, and she did this all by herself, barely 9 or 10 at the time!

She never complained, did what she was told to do, looked out for me, and I truly love her for all she did for me. I haven’t forgotten it, and never will.

Tess, Theresa, have the best darn birthday you could possibly have, and remember I love you like a brother should, you are still the best!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY THERESA!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

THE ‘KID’GETS OLDER

Today is #1 Son’s (Anthony) birthday! If I remember correctly, he is now getting older than me. These things do happen, and to top it all off, he is getting married. This will definitely help the aging process, I know, I was a young man when I got married, and look at me now

We go back a long time; I can remember him when he first showed up. It was a rainy morning, very early on after midnight, and being it was so dark and miserable out, I ran all the red lights on my way to the hospital in Smithtown. Finally, at 7:30 in the morning he was born.

The greatest gift a man can have is his children, the thrill of having a son, as the father is something else. The first son kind brings you to a new level in life. Every son after that sets a greater level.
Anthony was always a little old man, impressing people of all ages with his maturity, levelheadedness and intelligence. He has never disappointed either of us, through thick and thin. We in turn have always had a deep respect for our children, and #1 Son always seemed to get that from strangers as well. I always looked forward to bringing him to work with me, because it was easy. He conducted himself as a grownup from when I first took him into the city, until he got a job as a copywriter in the later years in college.



One of my bosses referred to him as “Our son”, and he really believed it too. Someone else referred to me after a while as “Anthony’s father.” That is what makes me proud, he can outshine me, but I love it. (It isn’t hard)



There is nothing I can do to reward Anthony for all the wonderful years he has given us, there is no just no way. Maybe our reward is we taught him right from wrong, and he believed, and because of that, a truly wonderful young woman will marry him for who he is.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANTHONY!
Touch a palm tree-
Love. Mom and Dad

Friday, March 25, 2011

BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS

Going to Maine. Gonna spend some time with our Daughter-to-be, TLC (The Lovely Courtney), and TLW (The Little Woman) and I look forward to it. What’s his name will be at work in California, so we can have a heart to heart with her, tell her how nice we really are, and not to listen to him about his father.

I’m sure that What’s His Name (WHN) is squirming right now, with the thought that “my father will be with Courtney, I hope Mom can control the conversation”.



Of course I really love to make him squirm, because it is unfounded squirmishness, I would love to have something to say about him, some little fact the he would want hidden, but I can’t. He has been a terrific son for all his life, so I just know that with his discriminate taste in the people he associates with, Courtney is the best! (He did move away from me to California!)

Now I get to meet the Maine lobsters, something in my ‘2do’ list of things I’d love to do before I die. Funny thing is another item is to see #1 Son get married to a nice woman, and so that will happen too!



The wedding is getting closer, and there are things we need to do. I will be going to my undertaker for some embalming fluid shots, so I can look good for the big day! Then he has to fit me for a tuxedo, and hope that when I wear it, no one gives me their order for drinks or food.

Today is also my good buddy Phil’s ‘Better-Half”s’ birthday. Linda has finally hit the ripe old age of 29, once again, and being married to my good buddy for a long time, we marvel at her ability to smile. Happy Birthday Linda!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

DRIVE THIS


I recently caught on the TV a report on drivers over 65. It seems that the younger generation is demanding that people over 65 take the driver’s test once again! Now why is that? Because the younger drivers feel the old timers drive too slowly.

How stupid and arrogant can they get?

If I’m not mistaken, my insurance premiums are lower than most of the younger drivers. The accident rate seems to be higher with younger drivers than older ones. I don’t see older drivers driving erratically, texting while they drive, putting on make up as they drive, or talk on the cell phone while driving. I have been hit numerous times by inattentive drivers, all young, bumping into my bumpers at full stops!

Who the heck is getting all the speeding tickets? Why are they called speeding tickets? Why the hell do you think they are given out, because you drive safely???

They don’t have the sense to slow down on slippery roads with ice, sleet or rain, they turn without warning or signals, and they jump on your tail. These are the people that want me to take another drivers test!

My suggestion to all you who think I need to take a driver’s test again, take a driver’s test yourself. Grow up on the road. The car can be a dangerous thing, pay attention when you use it, use caution, someone can get hurt. If someone is ahead of you that you feel is too slow, thank them for slowing you down, and maybe saving your life, or at least money on your car insurance.

We are old for a reason, we were careful.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

THINGS HAPPEN!


It started one cold March morning some many years ago, Dad went out to the front porch to put some empty milk bottles out for the milkman, and came back inside with a baby with a note pinned on her.

The note was written on the back of a used envelope and said in effect; “Don’t bother looking for the real parents, we will deny it.” As Dad placed the bundle down on the kitchen table, Mom inquired as to what Dad had there and where was the milk.

“It’s our newest child” he said proudly and Mom thought about it and said: “Well as long as I don’t go through another childbirth, and it doesn’t make too much noise we can keep it. Now put the milk in the refrigerator before it goes bad.”

And so, we named her Joanne.

Joanne took her place among the covenant of sisterhood under the family roof, and was quickly indoctrinated on how to deal with an only brother. Learning to scream if I looked at her at the top of her lungs, making reports out on my doings and any other things that constituted her basic training were instituted during those formative years. She was assigned to a crib in my room, because we only had so much room with 4 other kids in the house.

Many a night I would be awaken from my slumber, and would have to pick her up out of her crib, make her a bottle and feed her, while pacing up and down in the dark.

The Foreign Legion would not take me because I was too young, and running away was not an option when there is banana cream pie in the frig.

Then one day I had a brilliant idea, which worked perfectly the rest of our lives! Every morning I would pin Joanne to my sister Mary Ann, while they waited to have breakfast, and to this day, Mary Ann claims that Joanne was her shadow wherever she went!

We didn't need another sister I felt, I wanted a pet turtle.

I kid you not.

Maybe a little.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOANNE!

LOVE YOUR ONLY BROTHER AND SISTER-IN-LAW

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

THEY DON’T MAKE THEM LIKE THEY USED TO!

Many years ago, when men were men and boys were boys, I served as an altar boy, for my parish church. All the servers were boys, and that was the way it was.



That has all changed! All the altar boys are now girls in my parish of today! Not only that but they are under 3 feet tall! We had this Nigerian priest who is well over 6’5”, and this tiny altar server one Sunday past!

I brings me back to my day as a server, when boys were bays and now old men. They stuck me on the altar with three other seasoned servers for my first time. I stood there not sure, worried, with a headache worry over screwing up the Latin responses, and when to do what.



On top of all that, there out in the church stood all my relatives, attending the first Mass of the future blogger. Of the guest that Sunday morning stood my Grandmother Frances, regal and more holy the Pope, proudly watching in her attendance! Even Dad went that morning, where he sat next to my grandmother and had to pay attention. Grandma, the matriarch of the family had journeyed from the holy grounds of Our Lady of Loretto, Brooklyn, to St. Joseph The Worker in East Patchogue, to give significance to the historical (actually it was hysterical) moment in my pathetic life!

So the times they are a-changing my friends. You can’t get boys to serve anymore because there are little girls on the altar. Is the day of married priests or women priests far behind?

Monday, March 21, 2011

DIG WE MUST


More and more people are realizing that the day will indeed come when they will no longer walk the earth. More and more they also plan for the day when someone closes the lip for the final act, and they are planted once and for all time.

I find that strange that someone would even care to think about it, yet I have insurance policies that provide for my widow. But the strangest thing I find is that people actually go to funeral directors and pick out their own coffins!

I wonder how that process goes down? Will it matter whether you like your coffin or not? Won’t you still look dead no matter what kind you get? In the afterlife, will we brag about it? I can just imagine myself bragging to someone when I’m gone: “Boy it sure is hot here, I hope my casket can withstand all this heat! Why it must be hotter than… oh jeez!”

I heard of one couple that wishes to be buried with their parents, not in the same grave, but in the same cemetery. The daughter says she will be awfully disappointed if she is not. What will be her plans after her own demise, to visit her parents? I guess she will visit to get the latest dirt!

Picking a plot with a nice view seems to also be important. After all, you will be there for eternity, so you don’t want to be looking at a gas station for all time. Frankly, I won’t mind a tree too much, as long as no one parks my car under it, then it will draw birds, and you know what that means.

I have my own plans for the funeral parlor. I want to be on a carousel that rotates and a little mechanical hand that waves bye-bye to everyone as it turns. I don’t want rows of chairs lined up, I want them circular around the carousel as it turns. There will be a card in my breast pocket that will say: “I hate when this happens!” I would also like to borrow someone else’s idea, of a kneeler that when you kneel, I pop up, until you get off the kneeler. I’m hoping there will be booze served for the guest, I want to go out with real style. Merlot for the ladies, of course.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

THE SUNSHINE GIRL


If you ever feel depressed, then you should request an audience with my daughter. If you ever feel bad about yourself, meet Ellen, and you realize how lucky you are, and how shallow you can be when there are people with bigger problems than your own, who smile through their issues.

Today Ellen has a birthday, and to honor her as a woman, I won’t tell you how old she is, but I will tell you she is a big part of my life. When I go to pick her up for dinner on Sundays and holidays, I can sense her radar picking me up. She knows I’m around, and the excitement level rises.

Suddenly, her face breaks into the recognition phase, and then the huge smile phase, the one I look forward to. She rushes you like a linebacker, and starts the process of turning you around to take her out to the car. Coat or no coat: “Let’s go Daddy.”

I have been trying to get her to say “Daddy” or even “Dada” but all she says is: “Mumma”. However, last Father’s day or my birthday, she did say: “DaDaDa!”

The first ever I saw her face, I happened to be in a hospital elevator, the doors opening, as I was going up to see TLW (The Little Woman) for the first time after having Ellen. My beautiful new daughter was in an incubator being transported to the maternity ward where she would stay for a few days like all the new born.

I remember something my mother said to me that made me feel very happy. Having four sisters, two of which already had children, said: “How nice to see ‘DelBloggolo’ as the name! Yes, she was the first to carry the name, and I was so proud of her, I had a headache the rest of the day.

And so today, as I look back so many years ago, I see someone who I love so much it hurts, who loves me back, and is happy to see me, as I am she. Like all my kids, she looks not in my hands for what I got, but in my face for who I am!

Happy Birthday Sweetie,
Love,
Mom and Dad

Saturday, March 19, 2011

REMEMBERING


One morning a few weeks ago, I was reading a newspaper article about a scandal, involving a director of an organization, and it brought back some memories.

It was the early 70’s, and I was a pup designer for a well-know world-class advertising agency, and we had a bread and butter account, which was an airline. The fact is we had two large airline accounts, one foreign and one domestic.

The domestic account was keeping us busy, designing new logos and brochures, travel plans, etc. My life was one of high-octane glee and pride. I was literally on top of the world. Working on the top floor of a 32 story skyscraper, across from the Seagram building, I could see forever, I was meeting a lot of famous people like Alexis Smith and the Postmaster General of the United States. Lunch was everyday on one client or another, and my bosses were showing great confidence in my ability to design and talk to clients. I was about to become a father for the first time, and life was beautiful. “La vita e’ bella” as the movie said.

There was an account representative for the airlines who was unctuous, slick and very handsome. He was oozing with success and glamour, and seemed to be evil in my eyes. He was in his early fifties, with blond wavy hair, nice suits and jewelry everywhere you looked on this guy. He had an after-shave that made ME want to kiss him! He was our go-between to the airline, in charge of special promotions.

It turns out my sense of the S.O.B. was right on. He was forcing kickbacks from my boss, and two other companies, in the tune of millions of dollars, and suddenly, the whole world was under indictment, as the news hit the papers and radio that the airline was involved in a scandal. My boss called a few of us into the conference room, closed the door and explained that it was an indictment, not a conviction, that we would cooperate and do whatever the government warranted us to do to rectify this situation. After all, we were victims. If we didn’t contribute to the kitty as this crook demanded of my boss, he would go elsewhere, to a more cooperative agency. We were in a position where we had hired more staff, had invested in the business based on his direction, and now we were stuck with this guy.

Turns out the guy escaped the government by going to Spain, with a young airline stewardess (sorry Mary Ann, but that is what they were called in those days), where I think he died. My boss had to pay a fine that destroyed his business, and I was looking for a job!

Today is St. Joseph’s day, and I miss those cream puffs.

Friday, March 18, 2011

THE WOMAN IS GIVING ME A HEADACHE!

Now that we have the wedding coming up in July, TLW (The Little Woman) is starting to talk more than usual! It seems like she is in need of filling up every quiet moment I may possess.

I can feel the nervousness in her voice, the tension builds up every day, and I wonder what she would be like if it were a daughter getting married?


It starts early in the morning, and she talks not only about the wedding, she talks about EVERYTHING! Not that she never spoke about everything before, just that there is more of it, and faster!

Life has become one long run-on sentence, filled with facts, staccato delivery and information I need to retain so she can’t say I don’t listen to her. It is hard to keep up.

I need a recorder, so I can at least study what she is saying, and not miss a word. The only thing that keeps her quiet is Oprah! Oprah is worth the money she gets, I’d cover her salary for all the miracle work she does.



A few weeks ago we were planning to go up to Maine to make arrangements for the dinner the night before the wedding. We have viewed every web site in York Harbor, in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts! That is just where to have the dinner. Then there is the issue of who is coming to the dinner, not only on her side, my side, the wedding party, but the bride’s side, the right side, and the left side. And where do all these people stay? Who is going to tell them where they can stay? I need a sedative. We can create scenarios that boggle the mind, single rooms, double rooms, rooms with a view, with pull out couches, and room that are small large and in between. I think Ill sleep in the car.

Her conversations have taken a new twist.

TLW: “You seem resistant to spending money!”
“I do? What makes you say that?”
“Well every time I mention something you question it.”
“Well, I get the impression that we are getting more ready than we need to be! Do we need to go to Maine on a Thursday when the wedding is on a Sunday?
“OK, We’ll go on Friday.”

This is from the woman who makes fun of me because I like to be early!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

THE COCONUT MONKEY


I think it was 1974, and I was starting a business for myself during the oil embargo and the downturn in the US economy. While planning to incorporate, I also needed to contact an accountant to get my books set up and my tax liabilities in proper order.

I found this young accountant setting up shop, about my age, by finding his card placed at a local diner. Forty some odd years later, I am still using him.

Ron was then and still is a very personal man, warming up to him was very easy, and trusting him even easier, and he has looked out for my interest ever since. He has made sure in al these past years to see that I got whatever was coming to me and that I always was above board with the IRS.

That first day, on his desk was a carved coconut of a monkey, something that held my interest that day, and did forever more when I would visit his office at tax time or to do business with him. It was cleverly carved and a nice looking monkey as coconut monkeys go.

Now that TLW (The Little Woman) fills out the questionnaire that he sends us every year to help him make our taxes, and save us the trip into Nassau County, inevitably he will call with a question, and I can’t answer it. I would have to call TLW and straighten it out, or direct Ron to call her himself. This has gone on year after year, and finally, this year he went straight to TLW! We kidded about it, but I don’t really blame him. However this year I was ready for him since I took the time to read the preliminary paper work, and he goes right to TLW!

The next morning, TLW tells me to call Ron to give him some info. I do, and when he answers he says: “I went right to the top this time!”

“Yes you did Ron!”

We talk and suddenly I realize how long we have been working together and I ask:

“Ron, do you still have the coconut monkey?”

“ Haha, nah, the cleaning people dropped it one day and it broke, about three years ago!”

Late February became the Coconut Monkey time of the year or tax time. Will it ever be the same without the coconut monkey? The one you see is NOT the coconut monkey, apparently it is irreplaceable!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE-GONE



As life goes on, things seem to disappear! What we once took for granted, we now wish was here. There is no sadder fact than we are all getting older, and each passing day brings on change, sometimes for the better, and sometimes not.

As a youngster growing up in Brooklyn, on Hull Street, I remember so vividly, my dream. It was to play shortstop in front of Duke Snider in Ebbets Field. He would cover the outfield like a gazelle, running down fly balls, I would cover the infield like a vacuum cleaner, gobbling up all the grounders, and making spectacular plays that would bring the crowds to their feet. Oh, I would sure as heck step up to the plate in the bottom of the 9th, of the 7th game of the World Series, my Dodgers down by three runs with the bases loaded. With one mighty swing, I would connect, as the ball soared over the left field stands, over the roof, and clear away, where today they would still be waiting for the ball to come down!

The Duke is gone, and with him goes the last of my heroes. The Brooklyn Dodgers were a special team. They were my team, and I was proud to be a Dodger fan. It seemed the players themselves were all heroes in their own right, fulfilling a need in my life to belong to something besides a family and church dominated school.

There was Pee Wee Reese, the captain of the team, who seemed to capture the spirit of the team best, as he led them onto the playing field behind the cheers of 34,000 people. He was a Kentuckian that earned the name ‘Pee Wee’ because he was a marbles player and champion at it.

There was Gil Hodges, the gentle giant and the greatest first baseman that ever lived. A whole borough of Brooklynites, praying for him to beat his slump and get a hit in the World Series. It was so severe that the priest on the pulpit at Our Lady of Lourdes asked his congregation to pray for him.

There was Jackie Robinson, who doesn’t know Jackie? My pride in the Dodgers that they gave a man a chance to compete on the field of play, unmindful of his skin color, and proving that color shouldn’t matter, and really doesn’t.

And there was ‘Campy’ the catcher who was a three-time winner of the MVP, a true gentleman, and great player. He squatted behind that plate like a little bell, and hit like a big cannon, a role model who gave much back to the borough of Brooklyn.

I remember ‘Skoonj’ Carl Furillo, the right fielder who had an arm that they dubbed the Reading Rifle’ it was so strong, and because he came from Reading Pa.

I could go one about this team, and I can’t really say anything bad about them. There were no scandals associated with them, they played like the class act they were. They were perennial winners in their league, and perennial losers in the World Series. It made for great combination of leaning to win and lose with grace. Because of them, I learned that life is not always perfect, just good. You don’t have to win the World Series of life, just be able to be there to compete. Then you know that you have done the best YOU are capable of.

Good bye Duke, I loved you and all the Dodgers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

IT JUST GETS WORSE!


The other night The Little Woman (TLW) sat watching TV and complained that she just can’t stand the noise anymore! She meant the TV and I can completely agree with her.

It seems to me that the ad agencies are in such a mind-set to reach the audience they think is buying their crap that they completely miss the point. Have you noticed how TV commercials are now so loud, you can’t make anything out? The music is accompanied by lyrics you can’t understand, and sometimes, or all too often, I don’t even know what they are selling!

With the need to get attention so bad, the competition to win the client’s satisfaction, they fall flat on their faces and lose everybody they try to reach. It seems to me that a commercial is a signal to get up, go to the bathroom or refrigerator, and hope to time your return just as the show returns.

I remember way back when TV was in its infancy, and selling was a direct message, to the point and still annoying, but more effective. Today with sophisticated graphics, they play more than selling the product, and distract from the message!

Speaking of early TV, I recall the whole concept of pay TV, where we would pay for the shows and no commercials. Whatever happened? I’ll tell you what happened, money happened. So now we pay for TV, and get commercials, and there seem to be more then ever per hour. Isn’t there suppose to be a limit per hour?

Why is it that watching a QVC channel will be more interesting than watching or listening to the commercials that also sell?

Monday, March 14, 2011

THE PRODICAL SON

Saturday mornings as you know I spend cleaning the house, when TLW (The Little Woman) is working. One of the things I do is clear out the kitchen table and chairs and sweep, vacuum the floor then wash it. I take pride in a clean smelling house and floors particularly.

After a hard morning of cleaning, I go up into my office to do some work, and suddenly the phone rings. It is #2 Son, on my wife’s side.



Me: “Yellow?”
“Hey!”
Me: “Hey.”
“I have good news for you, I’ll be coming home today, just for a little while, then I have to get back. My friend is driving down and I thought I’d stop by.”
Me: “Oh! Today? What time do you go back?”
“I don’t know.”
Me: “You know your mother is working today.”
“Oh, that sucks. See you later.”
Me: “Today?”
“Yup”



All I could think of was the clean house, how hard I worked to make it so, and the fact that now I would be picking up. (Not true, turned out the only thing he left me was a bottle of soda on the table.)

Around 4:45, I notice no one has come, and think, hemmmm… maybe he changed his mind. Maybe he won’t show up, just then, the front door burst open and sure enough #2 has arrived!

Behind him is a small entourage of friends and associates, who proudly present themselves in my kitchen. One of the brotherhood tries to pet Happy and she lets him know that he would need an appointment to do that, that she would let it go this time with just a stern warning.





Out comes all the frozen pizza, and a feast of microwave perfection is under way, assigning frozen slices that were quickly heated up to each member of the Society for the Prevention of Hunger!

Happy is agitated, and is off in the entranceway, a sinister look coupled with her usual look of ‘I did something wrong,’ on her pretty face.

Realizing that she is still doing her job, I go over to console and reassure her that everything is ok. But she is still looking down, somewhat tense. I turn to get her a treat and I see it! There on my just cleaned kitchen floor is lake cadmium, as large and yellow a lake I have ever seen. Bigger than Lake Michigan! She had peed from the excitement of all the strangers.

Trying to keep one’s cool when tired and taken from a serene place, is very difficult, but I do it. Out once again comes the mop, paper towels and cleaning fluids to clean up the lake.

There is a moral in this story boys and girls. When your children go off to college, is a good time to move. I recommend moving as opposed to changing the locks because you can get pretty far away with a move, changing your name and assuming another identity, while changing the locks just means they will knock and knock and knock, and you will hear it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

COME SATURDAY MORNING


“Come Saturday morning
I'm goin' away with my friend
We'll Saturday-spend till the end of the day-ay”

Or, so the song goes. But how will I spend it? With a dust rag and feather duster, with a mop and bucket of hot steaming water to swab down the deck, from stem to stern. Saturdays!

“Just I and my friend
We'll travel for miles in our Saturday smiles
And then we'll move on
But we will remember long after Saturday's gone
(Come Saturday morning, come Saturday mo-o-rning)”


The only friend I have on Saturday morning is Saturday afternoon, by then the chores are over! God, how I hate Saturday mornings.

“Come Saturday morning
I'm goin' away with my friend
We'll Saturday-laugh more than half of the day (ay-ay-ay)
Just I and my friend (my friend)”

I could make my life easier and do some of the work during the week, but that would ruin a perfectly good week. Besides, isn’t that what Saturdays are for?

“Dressed up in our rings and our Saturday things
And then we'll move on
But we will remember long after Saturday's gone
(Come Saturday morning, come Saturday morning)”


I put on the TV and listen to an Oldies station, one that got me into trouble once before. It sees it was playing the limbo rock, and I did it by myself! I was having a great time until someone said: “How low can you go?”

“Come Saturday mo (Saturday) rning

Just I and my friend (my friend)
We'll travel for miles in our Saturday smiles
And then we'll move on
But we will remember long after Saturday's gone”


Of course, my dumb ass dog just watches; won’t dance with me, and becomes very afraid when I dance with the mop!

“(Come Saturday morning, come Saturday mo-o-rning)
(Come Saturday morning, come Saturday mo-o-rning)”

On Saturday morning, smoke got in my eyes, I was blinded by the harbor lights, and Donna, Oh Donna! But it all went away with Puff the magic dragon!

But once I hear the sound of a bass guitar strum out a beat, coupled by a set of drums, brushes dragging across the skin, I need to get up and dance to that rock beat. Suddenly the mop becomes a hot babe moving back to my moves, swaying to and from in my arms, hands clapping, butt swaying, mouth mouthing to the sounds of the beat.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A DAY AT THE DELI

The other day I was in the supermarket late morning after a meeting to pick up a few things that The Little Woman (TLW) wanted. Being it was near noon, I was hungry and thought about what I had at the house. I decided to go to the deli and get some sliced roast beef with cheese and make a sandwich with horseradish.

I give the woman behind the deli counter my order and she cuts the cheese (No kidding) and offers me a slice. I take it and eat it, and while munching this woman comes over, stands next to me and says:



“I feel like a sandwich with a nice roll, with mozzarella cheese, roasted peppers and I’m not sure if it should be salami or sopressata (sic?) on it. What goes best?”

Being taken by surprise, and feeling like I should be behind the counter slicing, I offer my opinion.

“Well, I like sopressata myself.”

She looks in the direction of the counter and the woman looks back and says:
“Yes, it does go best!”

Looking at me the woman behind the counter says: “Ya wanna try some?” looking at us both.


Me, being a gentleman that I am, will not lower a woman’s expectations if she has food to give out.

“Why sure!”

She cuts me about 4 slices of the salami and I think: “Too bad she didn’t wait awhile with the cheese.”

Looking at me, she asks: “would you like to try the Jarlsburg we have?” Handing me my order, I say “Yes” to her question, and she cuts me 2 nice slices! So standing there in the course of 5 minutes, I got a few slices of Swiss cheese, 4 slices of sopressata and 2 slices of Jarlsburg!

As I leave the deli department, I wonder why I bothered to buy the roast beef and Swiss. I didn’t eat the lunch I planned that day!

Friday, March 11, 2011

I’M NO DOCTOR


The other day, TLW (The Little Woman) and I had a conversation about sending an email out to enter a picture of my dog Happy into a contest. The dog and I could care less, but TLW said jump.

I send in the picture and call TLW.

Me: “I sent in the picture.” (See, I told you I did.)

“Good, which picture did you send?”

Me: “Oh, one of her when she was young.”

“Ah, Doug was wondering if you would doctor it up. You know, maybe put my picture on her face!”

Me: “Doctor it up! I don’t doctor up photos.”

“Well, he meant like you do on the blogue. You know, with photoshop?”

Me: “First of all, I don’t doctor, secondly, I ‘enhance’, doctoring sounds so criminal! No, I enhance, I bring something more to it, I get out all its beauty to come out. A pixel here, a pixel there.”

Suggestions have been made that I exaggerate from to time to time, but that too is false. I enhance, I bring drama where there is expectation, I bring conclusion where there is confusion, I bring silence where there is discourse, and discourse where there is silence.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

WHY I LOVE THE MEDIA




Being scared to death is no longer limited to Halloween! The news media is now on top of it. They can keep you posted on the immediate dangers that lurk right under your nose. How about: “9 ways you could mess up this tax season. These mistakes could wind up costing you money or attracting unwanted attention from the IRS”.

Of course there are other things that can make them relevant in your life. There is the report that cell-phones can keep you awake. I need to pay more attention; I’ve been sleeping well lately, so this is disturbing! It seems that where you keep your phone at night makes the difference. Cell-phones if they are too close to you, will keep you awake! If that is not enough, cell-phone use can cause your brain to fry, or become cancerous!

Then there is the question of what we eat, what is really bad for you, that “May” cause harm. An ambulance may be harmful to your health. (Just lay under it when it backs out.) Red food dye, certain preservatives, animal fat and the list goes on and on, just to announce what “experts” have recently found. I can’t remember how many times coffee has fallen out of favor, then became beneficial to me through the course of the last 50 years. Right now, red wine and chocolate is very much in favor, so watch out how much of that you consume, because the statute of limitations is about to expire!

There are always your medications to be scrutinized. Now here is a field that is exploited by the media to instill fear into our hearts and minds! “Leading experts say…” and so it goes on. They never quote the experts that don’t agree.

My question is: Is the media reporting strictly informative or just a lure to get you to watch at 11:00 PM? And have you noticed, all this occurs at either 10 or 11 PM?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

LITTLE PACKAGES


You get a present in a big box and you get excited, wondering what it could be. You get a small box, and you can get equally excited. The old saying: “Good things come in little packages” is so true.

I know a ‘little package’ and her name is Linda, she is the wife of my best friend, the mother of some great kids, and a good friend. Her mission in life is to live with Phil, it is THE job that someone has to do. Of course there is not enough money in this world to pay her for that job, but she humbly takes it on, a smile and a quick word to let you know she is holding up.

Linda took Phil for better or worse, and while she waited for the better to come along, she raised three children to ease the pain. She doesn’t wear her religion on her sleeve, but is in constant prayer, living with you know whom.

Today is her birthday! Like Phil she was a March baby, not unlike TLW (The Little Woman) and I, both July babies, almost on the same day!

In spite of living with Mr. Phil, she looks amazingly well, for the ordeal, and maintains a great sense of humor and survival!

So Linda, Happy Birthday! We are all still praying for you.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

48 YEARS AGO TODAY!



And so it is with the anniversary of the Bellport High School fire in March of 1963. On that March 8th day, one of the biggest fears a school administration can realize occurred, a school fire. One of the most destructive fires witnessed, raged through an old quaint building, which housed generations of students, up until that fire.



Former students who witnessed that awful day will tell you stories of heroics, sadness, fear and trepidation, of awe and fright, but they can’t tell one of death. With the horrific explosion, when the boiler blew the roof out, to the standing of the principle, Mr. Feeney, looking like he was personally affronted that such a thing would happen to him, dejectedly looking down in sadness and I’m sure disbelief. He was a no-nonsense man who loved the students; quick tempered but always proud of his charges.

But it was the teachers who stood up and took over along with the fire departments that came to fight the horror. Kids jumping out of windows, smoke pouring out of the very same windows, seeing in horror all the kids you know, the ones you see everyday, and take for granted, suddenly challenged, and there is nothing you can do to help them!

Before we know it, it will be fifty years since the day that lives in infamy to the students of 1963 Bellport High School, and every one of us who witnessed that day, are forever linked as one.

Monday, March 07, 2011

ONCE SHE WAS SO LIVELY

She lays in her little spot for most of the day. She doesn’t take up much room, and for the most part sleeps. She can hardly move about, she’s lived long past her allotted time. I like to think it is because I take care of her, that she knows I love her, and that no matter how angry she can make me at times, I will still do what she needs me to do.

Once upon a time, she was so lively, so filled with energy and vitality, I couldn’t keep up with her. Oh, she had her little tricks that she employed to win me over, and was not afraid to use them.



I often found myself dumb-founded at just how intelligent she was, and to this day, she hasn’t lost a thing. She can figure things out pretty quickly, but she knows who’s in charge. She is of course.

She has her little idiosyncrasies, and probably they make her what she is. I tell people about some of them, and they shake their heads in disbelief. But she is loyal, so very loyal, and so very beautiful, that even in her old age, she remains as pretty as the first day she entered my household.



She adopted the whole family, before we adopted her. She made us all love her, and we all knew how we stood with her, as she built relationships that were individualized for each of us. She knew she had to treat each of us differently, because we each had different needs.

At the end of the day, you knew your bounds and she established hers.

Now, my little dog, my little cocker spaniel can hardly move, hardly picks up her head sometimes. And she sleeps so soundly, I have to check on her to see if she is still breathing, her fuzzy little body sometimes curled up in a ball.



There are days she absolutely drives me mad. Those days are when she makes countless trips outside to do her business. I want to toss her out the door, but I know she is getting on in years, she can’t control herself as well as she used to. So I lose my anger, and feel guilty then sadness for her.

Every morning when I come down from my shower, I march to the coffee pot, and I look down and there she is, sniffing my pants and shoes, greeting me for the new day! She does it in a quiet dignified fashion, and I talk to her, even though she can’t hear me. She used to come over to my chair while I reclined in it, with my shoes off and just my socks on my feet, and pull the socks off!

She has trained me to give her lettuce at 4:30 in the afternoon, rain or shine, EST or DST, at 4:30 she wants her lettuce. If I forget, she will trick me into getting up then she will lead me into the kitchen to the refrigerator! How? By going to the back door, and with her paw swiping the bell that hangs for her convenience, that’s how.

I know her day is coming, and it is coming soon! I know I have to expect it, but I won’t like it. She is a good, loyal companion. There will not be another dog in the house. There is only room for one special memory, and that belongs all to Happy.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

WHAT WE REALLY SHARE AS FRIENDS


There is absolutely nothing that I can say that I mirror my buddy Phil in. He and I are totally different; no cultural, professional or personal traits make us alike, other than we love each other. That is what makes this friendship so great! He introduced me to his culture, his way of life, and I did like-wise for him.

But there are many things we share, things we learned from each other, and things we gave each other. I never liked to make friends for the sake of making friends: I feel that I want quality, not quantity. Phil has never questioned or criticized who and what I am: I could not even find the words to do it to him. His friendship has been unquestionable in all the years I know him. He knows that if ever he needs me for anything, I am here for him. There are no questions asked, not qualifiers, no explanations necessary.

I was Phil’s best man, and he was mine. When I lost my son, he was there, when he lost his daughter, I hurried to be with him. When a stranger can come into a home, and for the first time be introduced, and immediately loved by those that dwell there, then you know you have someone special. After all these years, he is still special.

We have found dates for each other, we have dated people we know together, we have gotten drunk together, and we have even danced together. I’m crazy, and he’s crazier, when I see him after a while, my level of excitement reaches unattainable heights because I know something good is going to happen. When he leaves, so does that excitement, like an inflated balloon.

He has been nothing if fun, he’s made me into a lunatic, and I love him for it.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

WHAT LIFE BRINGS

Many years ago, around January of 1965, I can’t believe it is 46 years ago; I met someone who would change my whole life, my perspective, my attitude and demeanor. As I sat in Mr. Ahn’s design class, waiting for him to enter for the first time, next to me was this funny looking character, who had so much character to make me wake up and take notice. Although his character to this day remains evil, you couldn’t help but love it.

Yes, he is indeed an evil character, who leaves a trail of love wherever he goes, and with anyone he meets! I noticed that day he seemed loose, somewhat free and easy, as compared to my style which was easy and free. Neither one of us knew each other, but there seemed to be an instant connection.




He introduced himself as “Phil” a name I am still suspicious of, since he looks too much like a Phil, so obviously the name is made up to match what he looks like. In my family world, if you were a pest, and tease, or a nuisance, you would be called a skootch, which is just what I described all in one word. This was “Phil” as he calls himself. I also dubbed him: “Phil the pill” because it was torturous to live with him every day. For instance: we were driving somewhere one day, and he has the radio on and some song is playing. I comment, “Oh, I love that music”, he asks: “You do?” and lowers it way down. Not enough? Then there is the constant squeezing my cheeks, when I’m not looking, sticking his index finger next to my face, calling me to turn around, and my cheek smashing right into his finger! Perhaps you would like something subtler? How about squeezing your kneecaps, or just trying to eat in peace? You go to lift your fork, and he puts his hand down on your arm as you start to raise it.

None of these deeds went unpunished. No, I dropped his transmission into neutral so many times he thought he was driving an economy car he coasted so many times! The time he helped himself to a donut at a diner in Hicksville, before taking a train to the city, I stirred my coffee, took the spoon out, and placed it on his thieving hand, sending coffee and donut flying.



He would bring whole loaves of Italian bread from a restaurant we had lunch at to art history class, and munch away while the professor is giving his lecture, or showing slides! Once, in the Bronx, on our way to meet some girls, he decided to take a short cut. He made a left down a one-way street, the WRONG WAY! Sure enough, the police catch it and pull him over. He is informed that he was going down the wrong way of the one-way street, and did he know what he was doing? On top of that, he was doing twice the speed limit. His excuse: and I quote, “Well officer, I knew it was a wrong way, but I wasn’t planning on coming back that way, so I thought I’d make up for it!” There is logic there; I just can’t figure it out yet!

When he first met my family, it was instant love. He arrived in his red Mercury convertible, top down on December 24th, for his first Christmas Eve dinner. I invited him by telling him to come for dinner and meet my family. I said we were celebrating another Jew’s birthday, and thought he might like to join us. He was an instant hit at home. My folks adopted him, gave me a shopping list to go out immediately for, and changed the locks on me, adopting him. Well, maybe not, but they did like him. Then every year until he married a few years and had kids of his own, he came for the holiday, and I would go out into the woods and put up a pine tree on my dad’s bar and we called it a Chanukah bush!



Why do I tell you all this? Because he has done something amazing, something I figured would never happen. He lived this long, Some father of a young lady never shot him! Today is his birthday, and he is still about 21 years of age, or how I met him, he is mentally about 6, but with me, if we combine the mental growth about 10!

SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY “PHIL”, you are the best friend a guy could ever have!

TOMORROW: What we really share as friends.

Friday, March 04, 2011

DIINING AND CONVERSATION

The home front has been quiet lately. TLW (The Little Woman) can usually come home and give me the run down on how things are percolating in the old office. This usually makes for an amusing evening of dinner and conversation.

Who’s who and who’s not, what happened and what didn’t, who said what to whom, and who didn’t do what they were supposed to do all make for a good time for me. I don’t have that in my life, and when I did work, I never took it home for discussion, or never thought to.



But things are getting down right boring at the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Co. lately. TLW comes home, we sit, we eat, and that is it! NOTHING! She’s all taped out! Nothing, nada, nien! What in hell is coming to this world of Wanna-Be banking?

I’ll tell you what the trouble is. The kids today who work in these wanna-be banks are too busy texting each other. Too darn busy cell-phoning each other. They are not paying attention. There is just so much drama out there, and they need to pay more attention.



What I find particularly upsetting is that I am now reduced to eating mostly Weight Watcher’s dinners. Try that with NO conversation. Try that without an ongoing scandal or drama.

In my day, you always got the scoop. The women in the office would fill you in whether you wanted to hear it or not! “Sophie dies her hair, that’s not her real color. Besides the roots are gray!” Then there was “Guess who’s doing who?” (I must admit, that was one of my favorites)!

I think what I need to do to raise the level of those Weight Watcher meals is to go to the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Company, and whisper in someone’s ear a nasty rumor, filled with real speculation. It may not be as good as real gossip, but it will sure as hell bring out some truths.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

WHO CARES?



A few years ago I started a feature for this blogue called WCIIF? Or ‘Who cares it isn’t Friday?’ The point of the feature was to demonstrate the fact that I had the freedom of being retired and was relatively free to do and feel as I wished.

Where most working people dread the Sunday night blues, and love Friday because they have two days to begin feeling the Sunday night blues! One day was the same to me as the next, and as the day was before. A wonderful feeling if I do say so myself.

Recently I went out to my local small convenience store to purchase some rolls for breakfast for the week, and when I got there, the rolls hadn’t arrived yet! (Not at all convenient!) I just turned around and went home, and planned to return in about 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, I said out loud to myself: (I’m the only one that talks to me it seems) “Ok one more shot at it.” The sentence was caught immediately by the thought police, or TLW (The Little Woman).

“What do you mean: OK, one more shot at it”?

I explained what had happened earlier and she said: “Well, you are certainly taking it calmer than usual!”

“I am?”

“Yes, you would be grumbling and pounding your chest.” (A rather large exaggeration on her part)

“Well, I don’t think so, but anyway, I’m retired, I don’t care. I don’t have to go to work, so why get upset. You know, since I retired, my whole demeanor has changed for the better. I’m a newer, calmer me!”

“Yes, so I noticed!”

Her sarcasm aside, her suspicious nature aside, even her remote control possession and hogging the blankets at night aside, I think I always was a rather compliant and controlled person. Having grown up with 4 sisters will do that to you, and living under the fear of retribution from Mom’s dreaded wooden spoon teaches you how to deal with pain and disappointment. Now, having a wife, without a wooden spoon, but with all the training of an FBI interrogation squad at her disposal, I go with the flow.

“Yes, dear!” is my mantra.