Sunday, November 30, 2014


Back in the 1970’s and early 80’s, there was only one man who sat comfortably in his chair in the United States. He was sitting in MY chair but he owned it! The chair when I tried it out was a perfect fit for me, encasing my butt, with just enough room from the front of the seat to the backrest. There were no gaps, just a perfect glove-like feel. When I sat in it, I had a happy tush with the comfort of sitting on a cloud like cushion. The man was my father-in-law, Jim Manning, and when he passed away, when I visited my mother-in-law, I would sit in his chair, like I said, with a happy tush.

Then one day, my mother-in-law passed away and TLW (The Little Woman) had to clean out the house to sell it, and I was in charge of helping her. I remember it like it was yesterday: “Joe, you’re gonna help me clean out my folks house, take everything to the curb.” Along with this newfound voluntary position of importance, came the task of putting the chair that I loved so much to the curb. I remember the sobbing, and thinking if there was a way I could sneak it into the car and put it in my house. I thought I could hide it somewhere, and when I was tired, go to that secret place and sit in it without her knowing it. It would have been a fool’s task but I didn’t try anyway. (Go ahead and snicker)

That happened about 30 years ago and now it is time for me to get a new chair, as TLW decided that that was what I need. I wanted a personal French maid with the little mini skirt, but that won’t happen unless I take a nap. So today, Sunday November 23, the quest will begin to find that elusive chair. We will look everywhere, and everywhere there will be disappointment. I will lower and raise my butt about 100 times today but it will not get a perfect fit. I might have a fleeting moment of pleasure, then something will not feel right and off we will go to the next chair, thinking this time will be it. But like a poorly organized game of craps-no dice.

And so dear reader, I will roam this Earth, in store after store, until I die, and when that happens, I will roam in house after house, my spirit never at rest in the quest for the perfect chair. So sad!


Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should!

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Or at least cooking it.

I’m not a big TV watcher, not because I’m sophisticated, but because I don’t care about it all that much. I have some favorites, of course there is The Big Bang Theory, and that took some getting used to, and now I watch it even in reruns, over and over again. Baseball and football and even basketball and hockey to some degree, and of course I do like the History Channel.

Just one more question, Sir.
Getting involved in CSI, NCI or Bones or even the modern version of Sherlock Holmes leaves me cold. I can’t stand shows that are too technical in nature and I don’t understand what it is the main characters are doing to solve a crime turns me off. Years ago when they had Columbo and Murder She Wrote, I enjoyed it because it took old-fashioned detective work. Let’s face it, the stars were accomplished actors that make it interesting and fun, today they retread the same actors and actresses on the different shows and it is all about forensic science to solve the problems. The characters are not all that spicy today whereas Columbo and Jessica Fletcher had real personalities.

This past August TLW (The Little Woman) heard about Breaking Bad and discovered that the show was over, but the HBO series was being run every Sunday like a marathon for each year. We recorded it all and watched it at our leisure. I absolutely loved it, the characters and the acting that went with it. Suddenly I was rooting for Walter White (Brian Cranston) who was a chemical teacher and family man turning into a monster of a drug maker. The show: Breaking Bad taught me about the ugly world of money making drug making dealers and what happens to people. This is not about drug use or overdosing, but the real business end of it all.

Metamorphosis from good to evil
When we finished the series one night, I looked around and there was no Walter White or Jessy Pinkman! What was I going to watch with my pizza, or my after dinner entertainment suddenly? The show was of such high quality and so educational that I felt there was not much left to live for. Then as I looked under DVR on my cable, there it was, the recording of Olive Kitteridge! TLW suggested that we watch it and give it a chance. Well, she better be cooking blue meth, or something close to pure meth as she can get, and murder some people along the way. (It IS the American way after all)

Just a down right bitch!
I have watched the first 2-hour presentation and let me say, it is nothing like Breaking Bad, no meth is being cooked, no one has been done in yet but it IS about one nasty bitch, and I’m loving it! Olive Kitteridge, I love you.

Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should!

Friday, November 28, 2014


Having been around for a while, I picked up on some things that I couldn’t see before. Sometimes it takes me years to catch on, and sometimes decades, but eventually I do catch on.

Take for instance smoking: I quit way back on December 31st 1989, a few minutes before midnight. Did I decide that at that moment? No, I had planned it because I needed a plan, a target date and a good reason was already brewing in my head, the fact that I was paying large corporations, in this case the tobacco companies money to kill me, while they made a profit off my stupidity. I had started at the age of 11 and decided that it was enough. I had three children, one was only a few years old, and I wanted to see him grow up. It was easy to quit.

I have made previous and numerous attempts at losing weight, but always beat myself by falling prey to traditions, and self interest and of course: outside pressures. There is only one person to blame and that was: me.

What is fueling my thoughts right now is not my past, but the parallels of life and how we deal with things as we move along in our personal timelines, and the comparisons and opinions we formulate by what others do.

Mom used to say: “The way you make your bed is the way you sleep in it.” That saying was passed down from her mother.

So what am I getting at here? After reading all the hysteria of the Bill Cosby situation, this is as of November 21st, it strikes me that like the bridge at Remagen in 1945, the Ludendorff Bridge it was called that the German army set with explosives, it didn’t explode until it was way too late, and US Troops crossed it into Germany and that led to the final defeat of the German nation. Mr. Cosby has reaped while he raped, and unfortunate play of words that perfectly illustrates my point. He has outlived the statute of Limitations and his only penalty will be his loss of income and face in his days to come, this for a 77-year old man!

Mr. Cosby of course lied to us, he made us believe that he was America’s dad, he was the perfect model for all black men to aspire to, and in a sense he did well with that. But he is what he is, and the question begs: How did he get a way with this disguise, this deception that played so well to his adoring public, one of which was I?

He used his fame and fortune to keep his peccadilloes out of the public eye and conscience; he was allowed to slide by, even though there were witnesses to his crimes. These crimes were not of passion, but of self-glorification, self-greed and like all-powerful people: invincibility by not having the victims speak out and bring the man to justice way back when.

Mr. Cosby successfully built the ladder then climbed it and we look amazed at the ladder, and not the man. He had reached the top, and now we see what he did along the way up that ladder.


Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Or… what the Hell am I doing in this store?

Q: Why did the turkey cross the road?
A: It was the chicken's day off. 

Our national holiday is an interesting one in that it is the harbinger of Christmas and New Year and Hanukah, we call it Thanksgiving and it did have something to do with Pilgrims, Native Americans (Indians) and Chinese take-out once. Now of course we commercialize the heck out of it, just like all our traditional holidays!

Like Christmas, if you live alone in this world you might go to the movies on the holiday of Thanks, and if not, you will stuff yourself, be too tired to think about going to work the next day and you will be all footballed and chatted out until Christmas Day, New Years Day with the bowl games.

As a child I remember the holiday for one thing and one thing only: turkey. It went into Mom’s special turkey pot, which she covered in butter and other spices and occasionally took the bird out to baste it in its own juices. We only ate turkey once a year and when we did we ate a ton of other stuff along with it.

One year in Brooklyn, nestled in our dining room, amid the fake fireplace and my favorite guests, my Mom’s baby sister Aunt Marie and her husband, my idol Uncle Frank, we all sat around the table and it was always sunny. The window would cast a beautiful golden glow across the room from the open ally way next to us on our third floor walk up. We wore a tie on that day, it was special.

There was everything on that table that as a little boy you would want. Mom started off with the usual Sunday dinner meal which was macaroni, the different meats and then the turkey and the cranberry sauce, which I hated but ate anyway because the Pilgrims must have had a hard time making it for us. But the thing I loved and still do was the Italian sausage stuffing, something Grandma Frances taught Mom and she carried it on throughout her life, and we make now ourselves.

The leftovers the next day, Friday was the best when we got older, and had Friday off. Mom would take out the turkey or what was left of it and cut it into pieces for turkey sandwiches, along with a nice pile of stuffing and a glass of red wine, and life was good, very good! It would turn into another holiday, as we sat with the left over company and chatted, finishing off the day with chestnuts, wall nuts and pumpkin pie. In fact it was the day I asked TLW (The Little Woman) to marry me in 1970.

This year will be different… Mom has passed and so has the tradition: as I knew it. I will eat at home today, enjoy my day with a parade, football and food, we will talk about my little munchkin in California and dream for Christmas when she will arrive with her Daddy and beautiful Mommy, and life will be good again.

So everybody, 




Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


OK I DO look senile.
Sometimes I like to pause a moment and take a look around me and assess the situation as I see it. Just like sitting in the catbird seat and looking down at what is going on around me.

As I get older, my wife: TLW (The Little Woman) has stated that maybe I’m getting a little senile. I think she is jealous because I meet new people everyday!

It seems to me that all the allegations about Bill Cosby have ruined the good he did in the past as that very past has now come to haunt him. White, Black or Asian, everyone loved him and now what has he got? A lot of people that will believe the allegations, that’s what. Even if they are untrue, the damage is done.

Do we really need newspapers anymore?

Although I will wear a professional sports team hat, I find it strange that anyone would walk around with a jersey with a players name on it. Do they wish to be that player? Rather than wear the name on the back, why not the salary in numbers? I guess that would be impractical since you would need more room on the jersey, and the player himself probably can’t read it.

Every time I go to the gym to work out, there is an area where all the young fellows work out, pushing themselves to develop muscle, and as they push themselves, they strut around between routines like bulls in an open field, feeling like they want to say: “This should impress the cows!” I just look in the mirror and say: “Gee, I hope I impressed the cows with something once.” Every once in a while one will look my way to see if I died yet! That would impress them!

Whenever there is a monopoly of sorts, say like a supermarket being the only game in town, they tend to get a little sloppy. No lids for the olive bar containers, no hand baskets, no one taking the carts out of the parking lot.  Just saying. Did I just write that! I am old!

Why do doctors when they walk into their examining room always ask how you are feeling? Isn’t it their job to tell you that? I’m fine, see ya.

You go out into traffic and it never fails, there is always someone who is in a hurry, and on a highway, God forbid any space between you and the guy ahead of you, inevitably someone comes along and has to fill that space! One and a half car lengths is just too much space for some, they must fill the space up..

Why are all the SUVs parking next to me so I can’t see what is coming when I back out of a parking space? And when I do, why do people insist on walking behind my car as I move backwards, causing me to slam on my brakes and say things that will not get me into Heaven?

My Mom passed away on June 11th, and I am still getting mail addressed to her asking for donations for one charity or another. I guess that is there way of keeping her alive a little longer. I heard of eternal life, but I didn’t think this is what it meant.

Spitting image of her grandpa Joe!
Since I became a grandfather, every little kid I see is cute, and I have to interact with him/her. The little girls in particular because I have a beautiful granddaughter make me image her when she gets to be that age so I get excited. The only drawback with this is TLW ruined that for me, saying people will think I’m a pervert.

Why do waitresses ask “How Many?” when there is only you and another person? My wife and I go to this diner every Sunday and they ask: “How Many?” I look around, count myself and TLW and say: “Two.” I guess they want to test if I’m senile yet, and can’t add any more when the check comes.

Well, enough of my nonsense, if you wish to add anything to this, I would be happy to add it to the collection and post it here. Just add your name and no obscenities, pretty please.

Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


That’s what Dr. Havaheart says I have. It comes as a shock and makes me a little nervous. It is something that happens to men over 60 and white males in particular. This is the first time I’m hearing of it in my family. However I think it may run on Mom’s side of the family, as many of them have gone to take a nap or just lie down and have never awakened.

I guess coupled with a 60% blockage of the right Carotid Artery, and 40% in the left things are starting to look a little bleak! I’ll throw in a little high blood pressure and you see what I mean. Old age is a problem as it is, and I have a propensity to create calcium in my body, all helpful sign that I may not be paying taxes soon.

The good news is when it happens I won’t even know what hit me! I guess I could cry: WHY ME? But that would be silly, pointless, and besides why not me? I would love to outlast it for a few years enough for my granddaughter Darby to at least get to know me. But of course I can’t complain, at least I know her, having a first grandchild is wonderful and worth anything that comes afterward. I have no regrets.

I’ve had an interesting life, married a wonderful woman and have had beautiful children. There have been some tragedies in my lifetime, but that is what it is, the breaks don’t always fall my way. There have been some major disappointments in people I love, but I have to let go of that and find new things to do with what is left of my life. There are some wonderful lifetime friends I’ve made over the years: some I see often, some I don’t see enough, some I wish I could see more before time is up.
It is funny how seriously we take life. We really shouldn’t, because then you can miss the best parts of it. Playing to the level of a child make him or her happy. Telling a joke makes someone smile and teasing someone makes him or her realize that we are all so silly.

But hey, life goes on, and so do I, and if you didn’t smile today, maybe I’ll get you tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2014


It’s another visit to the young cardiologist, Dr. Havaheart, the monitor of all things heartbeat in DelBloggolo. He will ask how I am, if I exercise and diet and whatever else he can ask that will make me squirm. This time I am waiting for him: I’m loaded with good answers!

I joined a gym and so far am religious about it, I am carefully monitoring my diet, and the best thing is I am enjoying the workouts and the change of food. It is like going to a foreign land for the first time and experiencing new things. I am even sleeping better, feeling good during the day and encouraged about the possible outlook. I will be given a stress test, one of three: one is on the treadmill, one waiting in his waiting room and one where I fill out forms that piled up measure 4 to 5 inches thick. This isn’t even mentioning the finding of a space in his parking lot.

I’m a people watcher: I try to figure out personalities, what they like and do for a living and whether or not they have a shady past. This last item is the most fun since if they look like nice people, I can set my imagination to something that even surprises me after I dream it up. So that is how I deal with the waiting room.

Last time I made an appearance at the heart shop, the good doctor asked if I exercised, and I answered that I have three flights of stairs in my house. “I’ll take that as a no!” said Junior. We all have our own way of expressing ourselves.

I will spend at least three hours there, then they will butcher my last name and call me into the examining room and give me a cardiogram, and I will then wipe away the stuff they spread on you like butter of garlic bread. Junior’s mom will open the door and let Junior in to question me and order 150 tests in the next month. Why? Because the staff needs the practice and he needs the lunch money!

He’ll ask me what I did for a living, what I do now and what the future holds for me and I will ask him what Santa is bringing him this year.

Of course once I go home tomorrow, I will pass the many restaurants that are calling out my name, (without butchering it) and I will take out one part of the prayer “The Our Father” that goes: "And lead us not, into temptation!"

And so I ask once again: Why am I doing this? And TLW (The Little Woman) will answer: To save YOU: that’s why! And I will retort: “For what???”

Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should!

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Lately I’ve been looking for new things to do. I like to break old habits and kind of renew my life with new interest and sometimes go back to old ones. The Internet and electronic gadgetry are all well and good, but I think on my part I need to break up its usage somewhat. Every time I look around, there is a computer or laptop or I-pad or phone nearby, and life becomes staring into one window or another.

Society has advanced so much in the past 30 years that it seems almost inconceivable that we did develop so much! In 1991 my first computer appeared in my home, along with a land line internet service from AOL, and it took over all that is needed to function in this world. You all know the things you can do with it, including shopping and learning, working and even medical advice.

If you are born in the last 30 years, you know nothing about the hardships of life, like waiting at home for a phone call or finding a phone booth to make one away from home. A shopping list had no ‘app’ you could utilize, what you did was take out a pad, or the back of an old envelope and wrote it all down. Sometimes finding a pencil to write with was a challenge.

Today, I’m finding the amusement in doing things the old fashioned way, apart from  tuse of a computer with its instantaneous gratification. I recently went to the library to borrow a book, yet couldn’t shake the idea of going back to renew it, instead doing so on the library Internet web site! I put aside my Kindle and my I-pad to go retro, but not all the way!

I still like to read the newspaper actually in my hands, flipping the pages as I go. Books too, I still have trouble with the idea of getting involved in books on a screen, it seems so against the laws of nature and God.

Former map reader
Driving has taken on a whole new dimension, one of convenience and speed, with the confidence that you can find anyplace you are looking for! It used to be fun when we drove looking for an address or the route needed to visit a place. We had the Automobile Club of America, or a road map. We deciphered the map and one person read the suggested direction while the other followed. But timing was everything, you needed to keep your eye on the map, not loose your place at the critical turn, and keep your cool with the driver or the reverse. Today the GPS takes over and the ‘TAG’ pays your tolls as you fly by. It even disagrees with the former map-reader and there is animosity brewing, so much so I have to separate the GPS from the old Map Reader! Boy does she get mad at ‘it’!

The invention of the Internet along with the computerization of so much in life has ruined many an industry. The type setting industry, the retouching field of photographers, the magazine and newspaper industry and even the TV and radio industry. Music has been so badly mauled that there are few places in the world that haven’t been touched by computers. I even wonder about museums, are they losing visitations because it is so easy to find art and industrial museums on the computer? Need an education, why travel far away: just go on-line and in some cases it is free!

I’m not complaining about the wonderful inventions that have come about since the 1980’s, no I enjoy them too, and now find it hard to break away from using them: life is easier and better in most cases. But I’m a traditionalist, in need of the past somewhat and although willing to cede the past for the future, just not all the way.

Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


I decided after a recent doctor’s visit to join a gym.
At my age things start to get dicey and I want to be able to enjoy seeing my granddaughter grow up into the beautiful young lady she will become for sure. I think every grandpa should have that pleasure.

So off I went to the local gym and was surprised by what I found. In comparison to the last gym I joined, this one is really new in concept for me to grasp.

Way back in the mid-nineties, I signed up for a gym called Extreme Torture. (Actually it was Extreme Fitness) and I did carry things to the extreme. Getting up every morning at 4:00 am, off to the gym I went. Walking the treadmill, then a whole litany of exercises, I worked my way through the gym until I got to this large empty room with mirrors. Here in front of a mirror I would get down on my back and do crunches. By now it would be 6:30 am and I would be starving. Off to home I would go and have breakfast, shower, shave and drive between 1 and 2 hours to work, almost dozing off while I drove. I stopped the exercises.

Entering the Retro Fitness gym, I was struck first by the immediate impression of the d├ęcor. It looked like a large soda shop in the 1950’s replete with red and yellow color theme and a very long circular counter stocked with snacks and drinks and a sink and mixer! My immediate request to the young lady that greeted me was to order a burger with fries and an ice cream soda. She made a rather awkward face and said they don’t serve that. She began to explain to me the plans they have, the payment structures and an invitation was extended to me to look around. There was a large section in behind the counter and I was invited to go downstairs to this extremely large and vast setup of equipment being utilized by a lot of people. It was impressive!

I returned to the young lady and said I was ready to take on the self-inflicted challenge, and was led to a bank of computers where I answered all the questions and paid for my initiation. Can you believe that, you register on a computer, everything is modern at Retro Fitness.

I don’t know how long I will live, since I took it on for a year, and maybe I will outlive the contract, perhaps renewing it. I do know I want to lose about 50 pounds and feel a little better than I have been, this is a personal challenge and I usually respond to those. Wish me luck: my life depends on it.

I will try to keep you apprised of my progress or lack of it, maybe I’ll be a new retro me! But just in case, there is a Checkers Hamburger drive across the lot!

Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should!

Friday, November 21, 2014


As you may remember if you read this blogue, I go to a gym now. After all those years of sedentary lifestyle, I decided to motivate myself and go so by torturing my body and enjoying the suffering and pain (self-inflicted of course), I can be trimmer and more fit as I sit here typing. Your job is to say when you read my blogues now is: “Wow! His blogue today sounds like he lost weight and is trimmer!”

My plan is a simple one, go to the gym, spend a half hour and exercise enough so that when I walk out of the place, my legs will feel like they are on fire and rubbery, perhaps taking short breaths and sweating as I hit the cold air for the long walk across the parking lot, trying to remember where I parked my car, passing my favorite Chinese restaurant and the guilt rushing through my head, and knowing just a few feet away is a Burger King for breakfast that I must ignore!

I have finally found a reason to carry a bottle of water around, and still feel silly in my exercise shorts, self-conscious with all these young people who are well into their exercise programs and routines. There are a few older guys like myself there, but I try to ignore them, I don’t need healthy well-fit friends, I need the ones that look like me. I carry this black bag that holds my water bottle, keys with entry card, wallet, and phone, something like a man purse, but is really an old fogey purse. The phone is to count time, not for exercise so much but to have when I fall, can’t move anymore and call for help, it will tell me how long it took them to come: It should be useful in my obituary.

I have a personal trainer: his name is Attila, a nice fellow from the mid-East. Attila is young, full of energy, slurs his words and the ones he does seem to say, he mumbles. His credentials are rock solid, he studied from a handbook I saw on his counter top called: The Gestapo’s Complete Guide to Interrogation Techniques, with a forward by Heinrich Himmler. He has the hard job in our relationship, the stopwatch.

The first time I belonged to a gym, I worked out faithfully, the problem was it was too early in the morning to do it, shower, eat breakfast then jump on the Long Island Expressway for an hour and a half and stay awake in the traffic! Every morning I was getting up at 4:00 am to begin this routine.

There is a drawback to all this exercise and good intentions: mirrors! Yes, they have mirrors all over the place, and this fat guy and me, old like myself (I swear I know him from somewhere) who seems to follow me wherever I go who looks like we need help! Him more than me.

I look forward to these little trips to the gym because I know they will annoy me, get me nowhere in the end, but pretend it will. As they lay me in my pine box (although a lawn bag and place me at the curb will do), if anyone comes they can look at me and say: “Wow! He looks terrific!”

Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should!