Friday, September 30, 2016


Some unanswered questions were put forth by a buddy of mine from a Facebook posting. She posted:

“I still have so many unanswered questions!
I never found out who let the dogs out...
 the way to get to Sesame Street...
why Dora doesn't just use Google Maps...
why we don't ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"...
why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed...
why "abbreviated" is such a long word...
why lemon juice is made with artificial flavor yet dish-washing liquid is made with real lemons... why they sterilize the needle for lethal injections...
and, why do you have to "put your two cents in" but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"
where's that extra penny going to...
can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane...
why do The Alphabet Song and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star have the same tune...
why did you just try to sing those two previous songs?
and just what is Victoria's secret? ...
and do you really think I am this witty ?? ...
I actually stole this from a friend, who stole it from her brother's girlfriend's Uncle's cousin's, baby momma's Doctor...
Now it is your turn to steal it from me…”

Here are my responses to those well-posed questions:

I never found out who let the dogs out...
It wasn’t me!

the way to get to Sesame Street...
Practice, practice, practice!

why Dora doesn't just use Google Maps...
She invested in a GPS

why we don't ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"...
They don’t like to pay taxes

why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed...

why "abbreviated" is such a long word...
To make you appreciate what it means

why lemon juice is made with artificial flavor yet dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons...
For bad children who need soap in their mouth

why they sterilize the needle for lethal injections...
In case they miss (See Tim Conway and Harvey Korman in the dentist skit)


why do you have to "put your two cents in" but it's only a "penny for your thoughts" where's that extra penny going to...

can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane...
Depends… is the corpse in a hurry?

why do The Alphabet Song and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star have the same tune...
why did you just try to sing those two previous songs?

and just what is Victoria's secret? ...
she’s a MAN!

and do you really think I am this witty?? ...

I actually stole this from a friend, who stole it from her brother's girlfriend's Uncle's cousin's, baby momma's Doctor...Now it is your turn to steal it from me...
As a former President once said: “I am not a crook!”

Thursday, September 29, 2016


As a red-blooded American boy, I’m sick of politics and the stupid choices we are having to choose from for President of the United States. With the lives of millions of Americans at stake, these are our choices: one is a liar with a poor memory when it comes to herself, and one is an egomaniacal maniac who has no boundaries, no real vision or any sense of the world of leadership.

I can’t believe that we have allowed ourselves to take it to this extreme. We should take the power of the Democratic and Republican parties and defuse their influence and start over. My proposal? Give Obama another year until we find suitable candidates to run for this important office. Maybe call on the speaker of the House to run things until a decent set of candidate sis set forth to run for the presidency.

I for one will not vote, it will demean my self-respect for a vote for either one. Neither one is really capable of leading us. One is followed and supported because she is a woman, not because she has sound ideas. One is supported because he demeans women and promises things without considering the consequences of those actions he proposes and with no idea of how to do them.

I’ve been around for a long time, I remember Ike running against Stevenson and Kennedy against Nixon, if one won or lost, it didn’t matter, the country would be run by good minds and be guided by noble ideas, we don’t have that today. My fervent hope is that Congress this time around will have the fortitude to stand up for good sense and protect the people.

My God! Look who I’m asking to have good sense and fortitude!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


The past two days have been the longest days of my life. On Monday I started out from Burbank, California to New York, my daughter-in-law Courtney driving me to Bob Hope Airport for my flight to Phoenix and a connection to JFK International Airport. Once landing at JFK, I took the tramway to the LIRR, where I took the train to Ronkonkoma, but first got on the wrong train, but fortunately got off at Hicksville to catch my train, and continue home.

When I arrived at Ronkonkoma, TLW (The Little Woman) picked me up and home I went. Along with my baggage, my beautiful Granddaughter Darby Shea, gave me a parting gift, her cold! I now had to fight tired body and fatigued mind AND a head cold. In front of me stood the next night's meeting of the Board of Director's as I am president of the Board, so I needed to be there, and so I was.

The meeting starts at 6:30 and is the longest meeting of the year because we cover 3 months of business and reports instead of monthly because we take off the summer months of July, August, and September.

The meeting went on for too long, and dead tired I left the building, my cold growing stronger by the minute and got into the parking lot, went up to a Prius and the car came alive as I touched the handle, slid in and suddenly I was disoriented! Did I take my wife's car by mistake? How come my console looked wrong, yet I recognized it? Where was my charge for my I-phone? I LOOK DOWN AT THE SEAT NEXT TO ME AND I SEE A PIECE OF PAPER. It has a charge for parking in Connecticut and now I'm wondering where my wife went with my car while I was in California?

I realize that maybe the car is not mine, maybe I got into the wrong car. I get out and who is standing near me but my buddy from the board, Running Muskrat (AKA Ken Walker). I had gotten into the wrong car! I was in Ken's car! Embarrassingly I tell him how sorry I am and he starts to complain about how expensive it is to park in Connecticut! I was too tired to do any thinking let alone remember where I parked my car!

We both own Prius' and it seems to be the car of choice on the board. As that old joke goes:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Having spent a week with a 2 ½-year child in the wonderful person of my beautiful granddaughter, Darby Shea, a certain amount of recall is happening in my mind. She has captivated my heart and soul and given me an education on what is right with this world. Her mamma treats her like a person, never talks down to her and listens to what she says.

Grandpa is in love with this child, my memory of her as I see her today will stay in my mind like an etched stone message, it will live with me forever.

Behind me, as I write this on a flight to JFK International Airport is a child about the same age as my Darby. She sounds like Darby and I could easily mistake her for Darby. However; Mamma is another story.

Speaking with a child at an adult level should be one of equality, conversing on the adult side with dialogue that fits the child's level. One must assume that a child is equal in all aspects of humanity. Mamma is talking like a robot, who is sounding like she is writing a thesis on child-rearing.

"Now I look outside and I see two trucks! One says Airchef and one; luggage. A chef is someone who prepares food for the people on the plane to eat. The other truck is loading our luggage onto the plane."

"We will now talk about lunch. You have two options. Here are your two options: Option One is a hard-boiled egg, and option two is a peanut butter sandwich. I will let you decide which option you would like to choose. This is said by mamma with a robotic voice, free of inflection, emotion or levels of sound modulation, just one continuous drone, where at one point I thought she would tell the kid about the overhead mask, the exits on both front and back of the plane on both sides and her flotation device seat cushion!

I know it is important to educate our children and get them into the best colleges and universities possible. I can sense this mother is putting pressure on the poor child to excel, getting into Yale, Harvard and Princeton all at the same time. I truly wonder what she really will accomplish, will her psychiatry bills be large, will medical bills for nervous breakdowns amount to large figures, and what about disappointment if the child rebels? How will Mammy deal with that?

Monday, September 26, 2016


As I left the UCLA Ronald Reagan Memorial Medical Center, a sadness overtook my disposition. Walking past it, I knew in my heart I would be missing something special.

As I walked with my daughter-in-law Courtney and my grandchild La Principessa, I carried this rather large Teddy Bear, given to my son from the cast of The Big Bang Theory, it was so big, one of the security guards stopped and demanded the bear release me!

The occasion: my son was being released from the hospital and we were bringing the many balloons and gifts he acquired from well-wishers home.

But back to the something special I mentioned, it was good, very good in fact. The manner of professionalism and the pride in the work being done, important work I may add, led to my sadness.

It seemed every day I looked forward to being there, part of the joy and wonder that it was, after all: this was a medical center, this was the #1 medical center in both LA and California, and rated among the 50 states as #5! This HAD to be #1 and it proved it!

Yes, in fact when I celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary, I am packing up TLW (The Little Woman) and flying there from NY to celebrate by dining in it, the finest cafeteria ever designed for a hospital, the place where hunger goes to die.

And so I say goodbye to Hollywood, La La Land, the freeways that go nowhere even though the drivers have given up as they wait for 30 minutes to exit onto the 405 South.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


When you have near tragedy in your life, whether it be you or a loved one or friend, the aftermath of it all is the realization that doctors and nurses and technicians are really a God-send. It is they that right the course of your troubled ship so you can continue your journey across the calm and stormy seas of life.

We look at the incidents that confine us to fear and apprehension, anxiety, and despair but soon realize that no matter how bad it is when a nurse or doctor appears in our midst, the horizon starts to appear slightly, we know we have hope at that point.

I am a champion of nurses and doctors and all the auxiliary groups that comprise the medical profession. Theirs is a difficult and complex road of evaluation and medical know how that must fit into each individual's malady and the doctors must be right in their diagnoses and treatment. God forbid a doctor decides wrongly after all his dedication to healing from years of practice and compassion, instead, he gets sued. Nurses with all their training, take on abuse from family and patients if they do not answer immediately someone's call for the most trivial thing. But they all keep on trucking, doing what they do best, care and curing for people, they are God's healing hands and comforting voice.

Witnessing my son's visit for a heart by-pass operation, and all the care the nurses provided, the confidence the doctors instilled in him and his family, makes me realize how lucky we really are, that we need to take the power of lawsuits and tailor it better to make for a saner world of medical insurance to guarantee the doctors ability to continue his practice, taking him from under the cloud of litigation.

My son was attended to at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, the best heart facility in California and rated #5 in the nation, to me it is the best, period.

Friday, September 23, 2016


Many years ago I had little children running around my house. When they learned to talk, they went on a spree and never stopped. That was a good thing since it made it easier to answer their question, the only question they ever ask when processing information: WHY!

Fast forward to another time in another land, the land of the sunshine and palm trees, balmy breezes that turn to scorching noon times and cool nights, the California land of La Principessa.

If you don’t know already, La Principessa is my beautiful little granddaughter Darby Shea. ‘Darby’ is the name my daughter-in-law choose; a pretty and different name, based on taste, originality and is fitting for the wonderful little personality the baby owns and ‘Shea’ is #1 Son’s choice, based on his years of attention from the endless years of frustrations and tears that always held the promise of next year will be better, a place that once existed called; Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets!

Today’s world of child play holds a different slant, one more toward sound and animation filled with a surprise, the surprise is, of course, Grandpa can’t get the damned thing to work, and with a vocabulary that is rapidly growing, my difficulty is understanding La Principessa; it is not her fault but mine, since I am old.

But to watch this little wonder leaves an old guy like me in amazement as I marvel at her reasoning which is slightly better than mine, but she is still young yet, to her innovation in taking toys and making them do things they weren’t designed for!

But she has a secret weapon, used solely on her grandpa; that face! Oh, that face!

“Grandpa, will you read this to me?” “Grandpa, will you fix this for me” “Grandpa! Not that way, this way!” “Grandpa, can I have…’ and so on it goes. The answer to all her pleas is a resounding “YES!” she is the apple of my eye.

But like every child that is beautiful, that IS every child, they all ask the proverbial question: “WHY?”
“Why? Because!“
“Because Grandpa wants it that way.”
“Because it is good if Grandpa wears red socks.”
“Because Grandpa wants to commit himself to the psychiatric ward for a few days, without Grandma telling him to wear red socks?”

And so life goes on, with boxes and boxes of toys, books, and playsets, accompanied by millions of little parts that will eventually end up all over the house, musical and electronic playthings that carry the imagination deep into the world of entertainment and enchantment. She is entertained and I am enchanted by her. Granddaughter; the most beautiful word in the English language!

The single best gift I have had in my old age is my grandchild. She is loving, beautiful, smart and knows grandpa will only see it her way, she is the reward from the many years of old age.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


The Los Angles traffic was frustratingly slow and lazy that morning as my daughter-in-law tried to negotiate the maze of roads and traffic lanes that led on or off the freeways. Propped on her dashboard was her cell phone that gave us the score: LA Traffic 100, us 0!

The lady on the phone was giving us orders on what to do and where to do it, advising us of construction and jam ups. Being a man I am used to taking orders without protest, but this morning was different, the heart operation my son was having was beginning and so our anxiety began along with it. Being how neither one of us could take slow for an answer on this occasion we looked for alternate traffic lanes that moved better than the others and the closer we got to the hospital the more we were pumped up.

Suddenly the cell phone came alive and Courtney answered. The hospital was calling! Our ears perked and our hearts stood still, waiting for our stomachs to make the slow journey from mid-torso to mouth, which was dryer than usual. What did they want? Could the lady on the other end give the doctors in the operating room Courtney's number? They needed to be in touch with Courtney it seemed. Courtney was also told they would call her.

Suddenly the urgency to get to the hospital became greater, the distance from it seemed to grow, palpations, sweats and clam-like wetness of the palms invaded our conscience; whatever in God's universe do they want to tell us?

Reaching the hospital, the phone never rang again, jumping out of our seats with the valet grabbing the keys we raced into the building, the anticipation one of desperation, jockeying into positions around visitors, and hospital staff to the final destination, the reception desk for the operating room visitors. Courtney almost breathless asked about the call and the person behind the desk made a phone call and handed the phone to Courtney.

As I watched her face, it slowly worked itself into a grin of happiness, as she handed the phone back and headed to a chair, slowly sitting and her head in her hands between her knees.

The phone call? Oh, just to tell us everything was going well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


The Little Blond Boy and La Principessa

It was a beautiful sunny early evening as we sat around a table sipping our drinks and laughing among ourselves. The beach behind us was washing away the last vestiges of summer, but the crowds of vacationers still lingered as if they were saying goodbye to an old friend forever.

As we shielded our eyes from the bright Cape May sun my cell phone came alive, it was my daughter-in-law in Burbank, California calling to tell me that the fun was over, my son Anthony (#1 Son) was rushed off to the UCLA Ronald Reagan Memorial Medical Center in Westwood for what would be heart surgery, as the doctors found some blockages.

The blue sky I sat under no longer mattered anymore, the drink was tasteless and the dinner that followed was simply a routine, something to do to while the time away until I could get out to see my son. I kept wondering how this could happen and it seemed to me to be the kind of thing I was taking in stride. As a parent you know not all days are pleasant, or sunny, sometimes a little rain must fall but this time, it was pouring once again.

The trouble was we were hundreds of miles away from home with friends who looked forward to this little vacation and we still needed to live our lives in spite of the current crisis. This has been our method of operation most of our lives for TLW (The Little Woman) and me.

Having to be chained to my imagination, seeing in my mind's eye the little blond boy I helped raise, all the times he called and greeted me with "Daddy!" and how good it made me feel, I twisted and turned in the agony of the unknown. I remembered all the times we played ball, watched the Mets and cried equally for both the Mets and Jets, made me want to hold his hand, as big as he is, but he is only the little blond boy. When his sister was growing up, lost in her world of disabilities, he tried to make up for that, after all, he was the little blond boy.  After his little brother died, and we were swept away in our own tears, he made the difference, helping us see tomorrow on a permanent basis, the little blond boy.

When challenges strike your children, it is you who must stand the ground, you must hold their hands and show yourself for him to know it will always be alright. He is older now, went through some tough times, weathered some pretty horrid storms that life threw at him, but he was rewarded ten-fold. He is blessed with a loving wife and the most beautiful little girl I ever knew. God is tough but he IS good.

So I got to Burbank, and saw the little blond boy, laying helplessly in a bed with tubes and bandages, crisscrossing his whole body, the pain was mine and grateful I was that his Mom didn't have to feel it as much since she was back home.

The little blond boy will not disappoint, not his wife, his mom or himself. He will fight through his pain and the trooper he really is, will do what it takes and just move on. The little blond boy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Many years ago when I commuted on the Long Island Railroad, life on board was a social event. People boarded the commuter trains with newspapers, friends and even games. You could actually see the people who sat next to you, and by chance even acknowledge a good morning!

Recently on a trip to California, I decided to take the ‘Train to the Plane’ and board a commuter train during the height of the rush hour. Life has changed in 40 years, there is no life on these trains, and like the plane, I boarded afterward, only the dullness of owning a cell phone that is nothing more than a nose warmer.

As I sat on the train, looking around me, all I saw were people on their cell phones, looking bored and totally alone in this hollow attempt at life.

Where are all the newspapers that were opened and the many different types, the Times and Daily News? What about the conversing that occurred between seatmates and those that sat across from you, where did they go? There were puzzle solvers and card players, even jokesters and book readers, where did they go?

They went to the way of electronic technology and the cruel world culture killing monsters they call I-phones and androids, isolating themselves from humankind once and for all.

Many of the friends I made in life came from fellow commuters. People with different jobs and points of views, cultures and the willingness to communicate with one another. Sadly, as I looked about in that train, all I saw were the zombies and their cell phones tuned out to life and the wonderful experiences I enjoyed so long ago.

On Friday evenings on the way to my weekend, many of my friends pooled money and bought food and booze and partied from Hunter’s Point Avenue in Queens all the way out to Mastic/Shirley, enlivening the trip and helping set the tempo of the next two days. Today I have to wonder where their cellphone will take them to, their emails and Yahoo?

Saturday, September 17, 2016



On occasions, I go to the Dollar Store, where in theory everything costs a dollar. I usually go for things like paper binders that can be used for three-hole punch or pencils and pens. Before I go traveling to California I can buy cheap little surprise gifts from the dollar store that I give on a daily basis to my granddaughter Darby Shea.

Today I went to look for some sponges so I could clean my car. It is better for a man to spend one dollar and clean his car than it is to spend &15 for a car wash. I'm not sure if I really believe this, but what the Hell; that is what I did.

My most expensive pose!

Looking for something in one of these stores is a lonely task. The clientele does not sport pauper's rags. There are a few that look poor, but for the most part, they all look like they eat, sleep and live well.

Did you ever wonder how people become rich? Did you think it was the stock market? Maybe real estate? Perhaps the race track? No, they shop at the dollar store. That's right, and I can prove it. Next time you are in the neighborhood of a dollar store, check out the parking lot. Mercedes, BMW, Lincoln, Cadillac, and Lynx, all represented.

I don't consider myself rich, not in money but in love and things to do. But when I walk about in the dollar store, people think: There goes another millionaire! Mom would have been proud!

Friday, September 16, 2016


"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is." - Sir Winston Churchill

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.
Read more at:
Sir Winston Churchill while Prime Minister for the second time, in the early 1950’s said after his stroke in 1954, that getting old was not for the faint-hearted.

TLW (The Little Woman) and I are now sharing like we have never shared before! Yes, two old marrieds are still sharing, but instead of love, ice cream or pizza, we are sharing aches and pains we experience. So after 45 years of marriage, we are still sharing.

As you know spice is the variety of life, as they say, and I have spiced up my descriptions but will not here. Getting up out of our chairs, it becomes an adventure to negotiate the move, seeking somewhere to hold on; ‘just in case’! These chairs are important since they hold us in place and keep us from keeling over.

Coming down from my shower, I get my coffee and announce my latest brush with old-age as I lower my tookest into my chair.

“Oh! What a night! Woke up at 9:00 PM! (We’re old, get over it.) Had to get out of bed and come down here to get an Advil or two. Pain from my lower back to my knee, and that was the good side; the bad side? Oh, how that hurt!”

But that is not the end of it, no siree! TLW then plays her hand and sees my ache and raises me a pain, giving the description and all pertinent information that would fill the logs of a clinic.

Now if you are not old, then you won’t understand the need for older people to case each room they are in, each building, to ascertain where the toilets are! Don’t laugh, it is a fact, and some day you can come to an oldster to help you do the same.

The other day I had a meeting, where I knew I would be there for a while. In the morning I had my usual breakfast of corn flakes and medications and an hour before going to the meeting, I ate a pear to carry me over until I got out of the meeting sometime after 1:00 PM. As I sat in the meeting I discovered I had to pee, immediately if not sooner, and couldn’t leave because the meeting was important enough to not want to miss anything, and besides, I was chairing it with invited guests addressing the committee. But if that wasn’t enough, the sensation of gas (I must have eaten the pear too quickly) begging me to shall we say: “Let it goooooo” was pressing too. Sitting next to this young woman who was making her presentation from an insurance company, I wondered what would happen if I just let it seep rather than one big explosion. I thought better of this crudeness and continued the brave fight. Needless to say, once the meeting was over, the chills and shakes of the experience were alleviated.

The fact that I even discuss these things in a public way means that I have indeed reached old-age! Nothing embarrasses me anymore, I don’t give a damn about what people think, and my future was a great one, but the book was closed long ago on that.

So if you are planning on getting old, here is a tip that should ease the way: try to stay in bed in the morning, and if you must get up, try to stay near the nearest toilet.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.
Read more at:

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Every morning when I am returning home from my gym, there is a section of the road that narrows down from 3 lanes to 2 lanes. The right-hand third lane appears from a turning lane from the cross street, allowing people from the turning lane on the cross street to merge into the road that I'm on. Anyone who is behind you such as young drivers and people who own the road, (those in Mercedes), to pop over to their right and gun it, racing past you to get ahead before the lane closes and merges into two again. This, of course, shocks you, causing you to slam on your brakes while the morons fly by.

Well, this morning was no different, this time, a young woman in a black Mercedes, came up behind me from a great distance, making up the distance in record time and now was on my tail, shifting in the lane from right to left, making me a little nervous. I mean, here was this gray-haired old geezer in front of her (how dare he) and her with deed and title to the road! I look ahead and I know she is about to zip over to her right and zoom past me.

Where the truck is pulling out
Sure enough, Ms. Nascar makes her move, and as she does, I step on it, zooming ahead at a speed equal to hers, leaving her in shock and anger, as she not only had to stay behind me but also needed to wait for me as I slowly slowed to make my right hand turn onto my street. I rolled down my window and yelled out: "Listen to a Perry Como song, it will settle you down!"

She may have been dealing with an old geezer, but one that is still alive and up to the challenges. I feel bad for her, since she only had full use of one finger, as that one was in use as I waved at her.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Every Sunday the Little Woman (TLW) and I go to breakfast. It is my weekly celebration of 45 years of happy and fruitful marriage. We sit over our coffee as we wait for the breakfast to come, and discuss the past present and future of our lives. Nice ongoing conversations, sometimes filled with laughter, regrets and plans. This is our time, and so we devote ourselves to ourselves. It makes for a wonderful relationship.

In situations such as dinners and restaurants, there is always exceptions to our norm; the intrusion of others conversing within earshot that is loud and you can’t help but listen to, it kind of takes over your own conversation.

Usually, I get angry when it happens because people should be mindful of others around them, but this morning (Sunday, 9/11) we were in a large restaurant with acoustics that were perfect for a Broadway stage in the balcony, not a booth in this restaurant. The restaurant had very high ceilings with supposedly acoustic tiles, yet the neighboring diners were heard loud and clear. There were three workmen sitting in a booth and discussing Hilary Clinton, a rather difficult thing on an empty stomach, and then Trump (a rather difficult thing on a full stomach)!

During one of the many conversations we overheard!
Behind me sat an older couple who discussed their life and nearby another couple where the woman was complaining to a man. (I would not assume they were married because she sounded like a shrill, why would anyone stay with that?)

As we were finishing our food, I asked her if she had enough political indoctrination for a while and she made a face, then said; “I’m surprised you didn’t get angry! Usually, you are looking over your shoulder growling when that happens, what makes you so understanding all of a sudden?”

I explained to her that there were three men sitting at the same table, eating breakfast and what would I expect them to do, just look at each other? I explained that the acoustics in the place were not conducive to conversation, that I could hear everyone’s conversation alike. This made for a chance to provide insight into my thinking, that I am indeed a reasonable man. “After all, ” says I, “I carefully weigh the facts and put in the figures before getting pissed off! This makes for good formal logical complaining, bitching AND moaning!” I know what you must be thinking: “What a perfect man!” Well, I like to think of myself as a man of the people, a man who keeps my eyes focused and my ears open.

So if you happen to see TLW and me some Sunday morning, keep it down!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016



Everybody has one. 

If there is one product I hope to avoid it is Samsung! The company seems to have a problem with selling goods that work well.

I own a Samsung 52” TV that I purchased about 8 months ago. I can’t get good sound quality from it, it seems that you need in some cases closed-caption in order to hear a show. We put the sound up all the way and still it sucks. If that isn’t bad enough the damned thing can’t seem to regulate the screen proportions very well. I have phone ID that is supposed to tell me who is calling on the screen while watching the thing, instead, I get only the phone number of the caller, not who is calling, that information lies hidden under the viewing area!

Not with the sissy cover
Once I owned a Samsung Galaxie 5 android phone, you know the one that does everything you wish it would, the problem is the battery, once you turn on the fully charged phone, you need to re-charge it to continue. Then you need to keep your eye on it because if you don’t, it's ‘goodbye’ too soon!

Then the final straw was the dishwasher, that thing that washes dishes and supposedly dries them too. Not this baby, after a few months, we started to get ‘error’ lights as the dishwasher stopped running. We would re-start and sometimes have to restart again, until one day it refused to stop! We, of course, pulled the plug.
this one works better than the real one!

So except for the TV, I have replaced the dishwasher with a Whirlpool and the android phone with an I-phone, both make me happy! The TV will have to die first, but that will be the problem, it may not, taking revenge for my writing this, making me answer all the calls that come in from the telemarketers!  

And finally, the news we all heard about this past week, the explosive lithium batteries that can not only blow up but have destroyed a car in the process from charging the thing in the car. Samsung is recalling all the phones as the airlines plead with passengers not to charge their phones on the plane!

Monday, September 12, 2016


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 wonderful mother-in-law Helen afterward I would sit in his chair, like I said, with a happy tush.

Today is Jim's birthday. He would have been 106-years old!

I remember him most for his seriousness, his lack of outward humor, his sense of propriety except when he had a few, then he was hilarious. I remember him sitting in his chair and complaining about all the typos he found in the Sunday Times, spending his day with one eye on Meet the Press and the other penciling out the typos in the newspaper, which he would then on Monday morning, mail into the editor of the Times.

He did have a wry sense of humor, he could knock you out with what he would say and he was a very smart man, his Christian Brother's education from Ireland having given him the tools to understanding better than anyone I knew.

His greatest gift to me was, of course, his precious daughter, the very one I still cherish, and would never disappoint him from the day he left her off at the altar in my care.

If you met Jim you would wonder how you could get close to him, he seems so standoffish in a way, but suddenly, you were in his world and you never noticed anything but a truly nice guy who knew how to love.

I often think about him, wonder how proud he would have been of his children, his grandchildren and what they accomplished as human beings, my guess is very.

Sunday, September 11, 2016


2001, a year that lives in infamy, probably more shocking in some ways than 1941.

We are a nation of pride; distilled in our sense of invulnerability yet we have twice in our history felt the rage of others on our shores. The attack on Pearl Harbor was something that some military experts were aware of, we were even tipped off hours prior to the attack, but because of who we are, the constant; we did not think it possible. There are theories out there that the President of the US, Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew it was coming and wanted it because he knew we would eventually be involved in the war in Europe. Why did he? Because he understood that if we didn't get involved, we might someday soon see Nazi Germany occupying Mexico and perhaps Canada if England lost the war. The conspiracy theories are out there and some of it is pretty convincing concerning what Roosevelt knew.

There is also a theory out there that President Bush knew something was heading our way, and even there, conspiracy theories are out there. I personally don't believe that, since we weren't that engaged with Al Qaeda yet, there were no organized governmental watchdogs on the job at any level of real sophistication, yet no one knows for sure.

But the thing that matters most is the lives, American Lives that were lost those two particular days. Who could ever forget those days, we knew where we were, what we were doing and how we found out. Although I wasn't alive during the Pearl Harbor attack, vivid recounts from my parents and relatives who were alive gave me a clear picture of not only the events but the feeling of rage and fear of a war thrust upon them.

9/11 was a different case. Many of us not only were alive, we witnessed it almost first hand, with media coverage so swift and detailed because of TV and the Internet. "America was attacked today!" was an all too familiar constant to our ears and eyes.

And America was attacked that day, the plumes of smoke and soot that chased my fellow Americans down the canyons of the battery, were indistinguishable as to race or religion, or even political affiliation. They were Black, Hispanic, Asian and White, born here in this country. It sent me a message first and foremost that I like to share with people. We are not Black, Hispanic, Asian and White, we are Americans first. That Black, Hispanic, Asian and White lives matter, and to Americans, they matter the most.

I see the rhetoric of the tragedies of police killing people, and I can understand the anger toward policemen and women, but I do know they were there when lives mattered in the twin towers. I can prove this by taking you to the cancer wards that are now dealing with the brave police, along with the Firemen and EM's that defied the attackers, and under great peril to lives and limbs and personal stress both physically and mentally, that all lives indeed mattered. There were no selections of what type got rescued, just determination to save lives, all lives.

I see and hear about the protest against the Salutation to the flag, the athletes who choose to not stand in respect, and those that are supporting them in larger numbers every day. What I see disturbs me, because it is really being directed to a symbol that represents people. The American people are the government, they are the very ones who create laws to protect and defend constitutional rights of Black, Hispanic, Asian and White people from unjust events, and injustice to anyone. There should be anger that injustice does exist, but if there is no action, then you protest. But in this day and age, justice will always be served as long as the colors fly. There are too many to allow anything else, that's who we are, that is what the flag means.

Saturday, September 10, 2016


If there was anyone in my life who gave me a gift, one that had the greatest impact, it would be Ms. Wagar, the school nurse!

I don’t know much about her life if she was married or not if she had children, but what she did possess was the ability to love unconditionally. If being a nurse wasn’t enough, her commitment to the students of Bellport High School was. Without her professionalism, devotion to what she did, I might not have been so lucky.

When I left Brooklyn in 1955 and moved to East Patchogue, she conducted hearing tests for the students at Dunton Avenue (East Patchogue) elementary school. It was her attention to detail that discovered that I was deaf! I had lost about 70% of my hearing from Mumps and for years after that, I was considered too dumb to be of any use in the world, that I would not have a future. My family thought I would have a low IQ, that I would probably be a ward of the state in some form. They never knew that mumps had taken its toll! I was abused by people because they thought I was stupid, I remember the long hours of tears and pain from that abuse. I was ashamed of myself and could never figure out why it was happening to me.

But one lucky day I reported to the nurse’s office and was given a hearing test, and conducted by Ms. Wagar, she uncovered the depth and range of loss. Without her dogged determination to help me through a series of hearing tests, she gave me my future back. I hope if she is gone, she resides under the light of God the Almighty.

While in Brooklyn, I was constantly failing, the teachers, the nuns, and brothers made it a Hell on Earth for me. I was smacked across the face until it burned and I couldn’t touch it, I was ridiculed and embarrassed by people unknowing. I even tried in a feeble attempt to hang myself from the embarrassment of my report cards. Then through the grace of God, we moved from Brooklyn and the harsh realities of ignorance into an enlightened community with a beautiful school, run by understanding and caring people.

My career was a success, I am President of a large agency, for the second time, and hopefully, people don’t think I’m that stupid.

God bless you, Ms. Wagar!

Friday, September 09, 2016


--> Today is a special day, it is a day for me to remember my dad, he would have been 100-years old today. I miss him every day, he was a kind and generous man, who had nothing, but gave it his all for family and sometimes strangers. As a child, I would look up to him in his generosity, yet as father and son, we fought on occasions over petty things.

He gave me the wonderful world of the Brooklyn Dodgers, that very idea of the underdog who will overcome the odds. When I wasn't in school, he recruited me for work in a factory during the summer, overtime hours and even weekends, all to pay for my education. I paid for it myself and am happy today to say I did.

He died at the age of 74 from lung cancer, he was a heavy smoker and was survived by my grandmother who came to birth his birth and funeral.

I remember Dad when he got up to work, a cup of coffee handed to him by me. His going into the bathroom to shave and my watching him and learning how to do it, occasionally some shaving cream smeared on the end of my nose. I remember his descending down the two flight of stairs on his way to work in the New York Laboratory and Supply Company, his lunch Mom prepared in a brown paper bag snug under his arm, his NY Daily news in his hands and his gray fedora propped tightly on his head.

Playing on the street after homework and school, waiting for Dad to come home from work, the signal I had to go upstairs to eat dinner, his walk along the sidewalks of Hull Street, the NY Journal American, folded under his arm. Racing upstairs I would seek the newspaper to read the comics with my older sister while smelling mom's cooking.

But of course, all those memories pale in comparison to his wonderful awkwardness in places like church, or anywhere he wished not to be, Mom giving him Hell because wearing a tie was not his thing, as it sat loosely around his neck, shirt collar opened.

He used to tell me stories about his growing up, stories about himself and his siblings, and the trials and tribulations of Italian parents trying to make life better. Some stories had me enraptured by the characters he mentioned, people like Happy Mione and Murder Incorporated, his own brush with the police when he and his young friends hid on a rooftop and rained firecrackers down on the men in blue, and how they chased the young rascals but never caught them.

Many a time he would hear of someone he knew who was, for instance, a widow, on hard times and in need of some help, to paint a house of fix a light or build or repair something. He would collect me from my childhood and off we went to do the work, gratis. That was Dad.

Happy Birthday, Dad! I miss you and most of all, thanks, I love you.

Thursday, September 08, 2016


Every organization has a structure from top to bottom. In the Navy you have the Admiral and the guy that swabs the decks. In the army, there is the general who tells the private to dig the foxhole and get in it to sleep. In my house there is the concept of the first female admiral and the swabbing ditch digging sleeper. Guess who is what.

In don’t mind the sleeping, it’s the digging that gets me. The other day I got my orders from on high, as I have been for the past 45 years. It seems we have a situation where years ago we installed a phone service with an answering machine, and it is all there on the kitchen wall, an ugly sight of boxes and wires and a blinking light to give it some charm. TLW (The Little Woman) decided that we needed to get a new system of phones that spoke to us when it rang. Something that said: “The National Association of Homeless Telemarketers is calling” and we would know to run to the phone to answer it. Or if it was saying: “Relatives are calling for money” we would know enough to not answer.

TLW calls it ugly, I call it art
We had this wall phone that would be sacrificed for a table top home based thing with two auxiliary phones set up in our den for easy answering or ignoring as the case may be.

“Joe, I want you to design something that we can cover the ugly boxes.”
Me: “How about a cloth?”
“No, it has to look attractive. Come up with some ideas.”

To ‘help’ me along, she comes home with a “whiteboard” that one can make notes on and we would cover the area where she will be happy and I will be done.

'Home Based'
“This whiteboard needs to be put in a frame of some kind. I went to Michael’s and looked at shadow boxes. They had a chalkboard with gold filigree but that would have to be spray painted white.”

Off I go to see for myself, and as I enter Marshall’s, I notice they don’t look like they sell shadow boxes, so I call TLW.

“What’s the name of the store you want me to go into???”


“Oh! OK, see you later.”

Fortunately, the stores are in close proximity to each other.  As a non-shopper un-like TLW, I think it is pretty darn good that at least I remembered the first letter in the store name.

So I enter the store with the proper name and look, listening to ladies discuss macramé projects, the fact that one lady needed a frame for her daughter’s picture who got married in May, completely ignoring the fact that I didn’t give two henweights one way or another.

At this moment I have some ideas, but they need to be practical, and do two things;
1)    Look like it belongs
2)    Make TLW happy

And so like any 71-year old husband worth his overweight, I shall rise to the change, or buy something!

By the way, a henweights about two or three pounds