Thursday, April 30, 2015


A Mexican bandit made a specialty of crossing the Rio Grande from time to time and robbing banks in Texas. Finally, a reward was offered for his capture, and an enterprising Texas Ranger decided to track him down.

After a lengthy search, he traced the bandit to his favorite cantina, snuck up behind him, put his trusty six-shooter to the bandit's head, and said, "You're under arrest. Tell me where you hid the loot or I'll blow your brains out."

But the bandit didn't speak English, and the Ranger didn't speak Spanish. Fortunately, a bilingual lawyer was in the saloon and translated the Ranger's message. The terrified bandit blurted out, in Spanish, that the loot was buried under the oak tree in back of the cantina.

"What did he say?" asked the Ranger. The lawyer answered, "He said 'get lost, you turkey. You wouldn't dare shoot me.'

The other day I decided to start taking a more positive view of life. I think I was getting too cynical and needed to change that I said to myself that any problems that presented themselves to me I would consider opportunities.

I didn’t take long.

The next morning I headed off to Toyota for some service on my Prius. I take care of that baby and I had a long drive coming up to Albany, so I wanted to be ship shape when I traveled.

Arriving at 7:00 am sharp, I entered the shop and registered my car for the necessary maintenance. They said it would cost $86 and would I wait for it, I said yes. A young fellow came out, took my keys and disappeared: only to return a few moments later to tell me I had a problem. ‘No’ I said to myself, this is an opportunity.  This opportunity needed brakes, some kind of adjustments and whatever else, which came slightly over $86, just slightly, about $480 more slightly when it is all done and said. I inquired as to how long it would take to make me poorer, and he said about the rest of the morning.

I thought to myself, this is an opportunity, not a problem. Here I have a chance to spend more than I want, and equate it in the many hours I would spend to spend the money. This is called: opportunity knocking, with a closed fist, on my chin!



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

You should, it's a great opportunity!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Young Son: Is it true, Dad, I heard that in some parts of Africa a man doesn't know his wife until he marries her? Dad: That happens in most countries, son.

Every year I go to a special event that I enjoy very much. It is the one time I really want to be somewhere, and that is called ‘STAFF APPRECIATION DAY’. It is help by AHRC Suffolk, and it is to celebrate the years of longevity by those dedicated workers who have put in at least 5 years of service to the agency.

The name of the agency: is The Association for Habilitation and Residential Care, and that pretty well describes what the agency is all about.  It is for people with developmental disabilities and the name transcends the objective of the agency.

At the event of which I speak, it is held in a catering hall of some quality and it is well attended. This year there were people celebrating their 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and one celebrating 35 years of continuous service to the agency.

The thing that amazed me was the amount of camaraderie there seems to have been as they awarded gifts for their service. The cheering and applauding for each other was extraordinary and heart felt, the joy for each other highlighted what I think was a great amount of leadership and vision by those that administer to the agency, the pilots so to speak. Never has morale been so high, and so infectious as it has been under the stewardship of two people, Bill Leonardi and Lisa Bockeman, two extremely capable leaders, that have made the agency what it is. The proof is in the pudding. The board of directors certainly made the right decision in hiring them 4 years ago.


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

You should, your morale will be way up there!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


An Amish man answered a knock on his door one morning.  An electric company worker handed him a piece of paper stating that the electric company would like to run a power line through his pasture.  The Amish man said, "No."
"Legally, that paper says we can." replied the worker.
As he turned and left returning to his co-workers in the field, the Amish man went to his barn and turned his bull into the pasture.

As the bull rumbled toward the workers in the field, the Amish man hollered, "Show HIM your paper!"

Or so I’m told. It seems that recently, I posted a picture on Facebook, and told TLW (The Little Woman) about it. It was a shared photo from #1 Son and let her know I had posted it. She couldn’t find it on my page.
Before the Honeymoon

“Where is the photo you posted, I don’t see it?” said TLW.

“It’s up there, I just put it up and in fact I can see it!”

“Well I DON’T!” (I remember when romance was the thing, such words as ‘Dear’ and ‘Sweetheart’ were bandied about like water from a tap, plentiful and free!)

Me: “Well I see it, it’s right up there, look” showing her my laptop.

“Is it on your page?” (Sarcasm was building up, this is post honeymoon days afterall)

“Yes it is, right up there.”

Scrolling up and down her I-pad, she looks troubled, annoyed would be another word, and maybe ‘Kill him in his sleep’ are other words.

After the honeymoon
Me: “You know your trouble? You have a bad attitude with electronics, that is the problem.”

Her: “YOU are a pain in the ass, that is the problem. (We honeymooned in Europe: it was love you know.)

Ah, where have I gone wrong? What did I do to turn into such a pain in the ass??? I know, the I-pad.


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

You should, it prevents tukis pain!

Monday, April 27, 2015


Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is a husband.

Once a year I go pay a visit to a home for people with disabilities. It is a special place in that the people who live there are so friendly and kind, you can’t help but fall in love with them. They are a high functioning bunch of men and women who enjoy life and are proud of their home, and live together like a loving family. I like to bring them something such s cookies, which they enjoy upon returning home from their day program. I wouldn’t think of going to someone’s home without a little something, after all.

When it was under rennovation
Once upon a time the house they live in was somewhat of a mess on the outside, and it looked like an eyesore to the neighbors, so the agency fixed it up and now, in its present state is one of the nicer homes on the street.

People with disabilities living away from family take on an identity of their own that I admire. My daughter Ellen for one left home many years ago and now lives peacefully with her peers, and in doing so has accepted the idea that mom and dad no longer live with her.

My visits once a year are for the benefit of the residents, establishing whether or not they are as comfortable as they can be, is there enough food or space or are things safe for them. Are we the agency maintaining a high standard for the residents in our provisions of health, services and daily support? This is an important job, but it is not the only things we do. We enable the staff to do a better job, when we know what it is they need to do their wonderful works.

I interview a different individual every time I visit this one particular home and get some wonderful answers. In front of me is a set of questions I ask provided by the agency’s audit form that I use. One question I asked was: “Are you happy with the food you get here?” His answer: “I’ll let you know when it isn’t.” I had a hard time not laughing, and yet I hope he does.

Meeting these guys, and advocating for them is really a wonderful blessing in my life, one that will be taken very seriously whenever I do it.


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

You should!

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Three ministers are talking over lunch and before long find themselves discussing how much of the weekly offering is appropriate to keep and how much to give to the Lord.
The first minister says, "I just draw a line on the floor, put one foot on both sides, and throw the money into the air. Whatever lands on the right side of the line is God's and whatever lands on the left is mine."
The second minister notes that he uses a similar method, but "I use a small coffee table when I throw the money in the air and whatever lands on the table goes to the Lord and whatever lands on the floor is mine." They both contemplate each other's answer and finally turn to the third minister who is sitting there without saying anything. "Well, how do you do it?" asks the first to the third.
"Well, I do as you both do and throw the money into the air, but I figure whatever the Lord wants, he'll grab, and I keep whatever hits the floor."

For years at an old job, I used to on occasion have lunch with different people, where we would discuss things about the job and enjoy a little conversation: it was the best thing about working when you weren’t at the office.

Since I retired, I have been lucky that I can till enjoy their company and laugh myself silly at the same time. The guys are all retired like I am, and we give each other a lift by meeting once in a while.

There is nothing better than to see old friends and enjoy the days gone by once again. To see people from long ago and remember the things I said and did. In a few days I will have lunch with four old cronies from way back in the business world, and it will be like seeing lost brothers. Two really great guys whom if you know them you are glad you do, a lot of laughs and we can relate to each other and the same things.

One fellow is named Pete, who currently still plies his art, that of a photographer, who has worked for a number of large companies, such as Doubleday and Publishers Clearing House. Pete and I worked together on a few projects, and he never disappointed my company or me.

The other gentleman is named Dominick. Dominick I had the pleasure of working with in the late 90’s when he assisted me by assembling my finished designs and creating a prototype of what things would look like. He retired a production manager at the end of his career. When I called him after 13 years it went like this:

“Hello, Dominick?”
“It’s been 13 years, when the hell are my comps going to be ready?”

There was a long pause, then a laugh of recognition as he asked me
“Joe, how the hell are you?”

These two guys put some of the highlights to my career that would not be there otherwise. They are earthy souls, the kind of people that don’t bother with or care for, yet respect protocol. They are good people, my kind of people. They make me laugh and are interesting people.

They really make it worth-while in that they act like a married couple heading for a divorce, once the children move out. They argue about things like use of the cell phone: who is paying for the lunch since the other forgot his wallet, or the lack of technological sophistication by the other who is too old to want to know about such things. Remarks about hours they keep, where they eat or when, are all flavorfully blended with obscenities, jokes about their ability to have sex, or the ugliness of their faces.

For me, this is just a way to return to those days of yesteryear, when we all longed for those 4-hour lunches, but instead today, we have to get back as we say.


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

You should, you'll keep your old friends!

Saturday, April 25, 2015


"I'm sorry," said the clerk in flower shop, "we don't have potted geraniums.  Could you use African violets instead?"
Replied the customer sadly, "No, it was geraniums my wife told me to water while she was gone."

Recently my neighbors across from me lost their dog. The dog was with them for 14 years and all the trials and tribulations a family goes through, faithfully at their side. It got me remembering my dog, ‘Happy’.

Happy was an admitted misnomer; she was anything but happy with strangers, she just didn't like them. Being a house dog we never let her bark outside, she was trained to ring a bell at the foot of the door she used when she needed to conduct her business and only went out on a leash for walks.

But ‘Happy’ was a smart dog: she was a faithful companion and the only dog that loved lettuce. We never fed her from table scraps so her diet was always the same, and this bothered me, since she was a pedigree American Cocker Spaniel that was the order of the vet. But once in a while, when TLW (The Little Woman) wasn’t looking, Id feed her (Happy) something new, and she would go wild for it. While cleaning the plates off into the garbage, TLW would be looking the other way and I would slip her a piece of meat, or some pasta or broccoli. She loved it, and we became the best of friends for it.

Then one Saturday morning:

“Yes dear.”
“You awake?”
“Yes Dear”
“I went on my computer and it said I had to shut down!”
“Yes Dear”
“So I tried again!”
“Yes Dear”
“I got the same message so I went upstairs to your computer.”
“Yes Dear”
“Oh, by the way, your computer told me something needed more power!”
“Yes Dear”
“And when you go downstairs, Happy was barking at the pool, I think there is an animal in it!”
“Yes Dear”

So I shower and dress, and head downstairs, and stop at the den sliding door. I look out but don’t see anything and think it was a bird that bothered Happy.

“Yes Dear”
“I think the animal is at the top of the pool steps!”
“Yes Dear”

I go out and investigate, and sure enough, without my first cup of coffee yet, I see what she is barking about, her and Happy.

There, huddled in a corner of the steps of the pool sits a rat! Alive and well but shaking! Now I have to think of how to get rid of it. I see my net on a long poll near by and I pick it up and get a plan. I will scoop the critter, and turn the net to hold the rat in so he can’t escape. I do so, and now I institute my part B of the genius plan, I move the net to a deep part of the pool and hold it down. I look at the rat while I hold down the net, and he’s looking up at me, waiting. I stay my ground and now he is getting anxious! He starts to move around in the net a little, looking for a way out. He is not going out on his own that was for sure. He becomes more frantic and desperate, seeking to escape, when sudden, little bubbles start to rise to the top, from the net. I wait, soon he is slowing down, almost slow motion in movement, when in the end mercy comes to him, and he drowns!

I pull the net and think, what if he is trying to fool me. I look closely but he is dead. Now I have to dispose of him.

I go into the house where TLW is sitting on her recliner.

“Did you get rid of it?”
“Yes Dear, but I need some kind of container, like a margarine tub.”

We look and I find a Kool-Whip tub in the closet and take it out. I realize that it is too small for the rat and return into the den with the tub in hand.


“Darn” I think to myself, now I better NOT toss it at her.”

“Yes Dear, but don’t worry, the rat is larger than the tub. I need something larger to toss at you, I mean into the garbage.”

“Yes Dear”

And so, I faced down a rat, a drowning one! RIP (Rat In Place)!

Happy had saved the day! We had cornered and brought to justice a rat!

My neighbor was lucky, at least his dog died in his home, Happy died at the vets, and sadly I witnessed a heart crunching set of eyes go out for ever, and remember the scene like it was an hour ago.

RIP Happy.


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

You should, it will keep you from barking and disturbing the neighbors!

Friday, April 24, 2015

&^^%^$^ &^$^&) **&^% AND I MEAN IT!

A priest is walking down the street one day when he notices a very small boy trying to press a doorbell on a house across the street.
However, the boy is very small and the doorbell is too high for him to reach.
After watching the boys’ efforts for some time, the priest moves closer to the boy's position.
He steps smartly across the street, walks up behind the little fellow and, placing his hand kindly on the child's shoulder leans over and gives the doorbell a solid ring.
Crouching down to the child's level, the priest smiles benevolently and asks, "And now what, my little man?"
To which the boy replies, "Now we run!"

Last Sunday morning late, I got a phone call from my old friend from Pakistan, Anonymous. Anonymous calls regularly, at least once a week to warn me about my ‘KUMPOOOTER’ ready to give me instructions on how to ride this virus he has detected and how I will need to rid myself of it. A nice enough gesture for sure.

Phone rings:

Me: “Ello?” (I know who it is: it’s Anonymous!)

Anonymous: “Alow, dis is a call to advise hue your Kumpoooter is at risk. We have been monitoring your Kumpoooter and you have a serious virus.”

Me: “I do????? How did that happen, my God!”

Anonymous: Yes, you need to rid it immediately.”

Me: “What do I need to do???”

Anonymous: “Hue have a PC, right?”

Me: “Yes.” (No I don’t I have a Mac.)

Anonymous: “Yes, I can see, You need to go to the bottom left of your screen, you see the… (Starts to give me directions as I pretend to be following them.)

Anonymous: “Now with the control key press down the option key, what do you see?”

Me. “Nothing,”

Anonymous: “Nothing? The screen didn’t change???!!!”

Me: “Nope.”

Anonymous: “HOO KAY, Go to the right of your screen and press…” (More instructions and I pretend I’m doing it)

Anonymous: “What do you see now?”

Me: “OH! I see a message!”

Anonymous: “A message?!”

Me: “Yup.”
Anonymous: “What does it say???”

Me: “It says you are full of S#!%”

Anonymous: “WHAT!!!??? What does it say???”

Me: “It says you are full of S#!%, wait a minute, it also says this phone call is a lot of crap you &^^%^$^ &^$^&) **&^% hole! Why don’t you try getting a real job you thief?”

This goes on every time the morons call, looking to get into my computer to steal my identity, but I gave them who I thought they are.


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

You should!