Wednesday, February 28, 2018


It was 5:30 PM as I eagerly awaited my wife, Ellen, to show up from her day at work.

On the table was the gift sitting pretty among the wine and dishes ready for dinner.

I pretended I was busy on my laptop happily doing nothing but waiting for this moment.

"What's that?"

"What's what?"

Pointing to the gift: "That".

"Oh, that! Nothing really. Just a little gift!"

"Who gave you that?"

"Oh, I got it today."

"From Frank? Did Frank give you that?"


Not being able to stand it anymore she approaches the gift and moves the paper around a little without showing any signs that she is really interested.  I offer:

"You want to open it? Go ahead if you want to."

Good medicine!


Tuesday, February 27, 2018


I’m a very bad husband. Yes, all you who thought I was the bests were wrong!

The other day I got a present given to me, a thoughtful gift that although wasn’t monumental in terms of monetary value or size was indeed major in scope. Someone gave me this gift and it was wrapped in a gift bag with a bow and everything. A beautiful presentation and it made me feel wonderful.

As I drove home with it, I started t think that maybe I’ll leave it unwrapped, untied and in full sight. Now why would I do such a thing? To get my wife’s curiosity going and see what she asks me about it. More importantly, how will I answer her question, and/or will I?

After 47 years of marriage, there is very little left to the imagination about the other. We seen us in all kinds of situations and I won’t go into details, but you get the idea. So why not make this a mystery? We do a lot together when we do something. We eat together, sleep together and watch TV together, regardless if one of us is awake or not.

I will drive her crazy if I don’t tell her what’s in the bag, it will make her think I’m hiding something, and that will should drive her to distraction, and create more intrigue for her. The more I can hide from her will make it fun, and the more fun I have makes me happy.

How long will I hold out? I don’t know, but I’d love to set a new personal record. I don’t have any secrets from her, although I feel she may have some on me, I will play this to the hilt and see her in divorce court I guess.

Monday, February 26, 2018


It comes in a cookbook. It is the recipe for a new reality, one that annoys me to no end.

I decided to take charge of my fate, finally. I'm looking at diabetic meals and planning them. I think I can do this, but I need to dedicate myself to it. I like to cook and therefore I should be able to challenge myself to do better in the health department.

Looking at some of the recipes in the books I have, I realize that I cook close to what they are showing me. I need to exercise some better judgment in terms of ingredients but once that is mastered I should do OK.

Actually, some recipes I have developed myself have been even better than what I'm now being shown, good fish and chicken recipes that are favorites of mine actually can fall within the realm of diabetic, and that makes life simpler. Sushi is a favorite and all the variations that the Japanese present, just make me happy.

There are a few things that work in my favor. I love vegetables, either cooked or raw, there are many Italian recipes that call for vegetables cooked in almost a natural state. Add some onions or spices with lemon or tomato and there you go. Fish is a favorite, give me any kind of fish and I am happy. The thing about fish is that you can flavor it and it takes on the flavor because it absorbs liquids so well.

As my mom got older, I noticed she didn't eat a whole lot of meat in her later years. I am starting to get that way myself. Stakes or chops are not that important to me. The only eggs I'll eat are either scrambled or omelets, no round yolks, please.

So, I am issuing myself a challenge, to make delicious, wholesome diabetic fighting recipes that please me, and create a compilation that will last my lifetime.

Sunday, February 25, 2018



When I was growing up, especially in Brooklyn, the day's events always had the flavor of or influence of the Italian immigrants who came to America and raised their children with the dreams of a better tomorrow.

Often lessons were learned from the ‘old-timers' that spoke imperfect English but with perfect hearts, teaching me the history of where I came from, the lessons I would apply to me later along the path of life.

There were many nationalities with the same bent, teaching their children how lucky they were to be living in this great country and how you show respect to the flag, imperfect that it is yet offering all the sunshine and warmth there is in the life of a free man.

I have always remembered those people, my ancestors that so affected my life and electrified my pride in being of Italian roots. Find a room filled with Italians and you find your pulse once again, your joy for life renewed and your day filled with all kinds of emotions from laughter to sobbing on occasions. Theirs was a simple faith in God, a reverence for the flag and deep duty to their families. What they believed they taught to their children, instilling it with their own force of character and loving mindset.

I think it important to keep these people alive, even though many have long ago passed on. Their memories are indeed alive, their teaching still teaches, and the fear of disappointing them still persist to this day in me. We need to know about the hardships they endured, the prejudices they felt, the avoidance they received from those around them who were not Italian. We need to re-tell their stories to all generations to come.
Grandma and me. We may have come over on the same boat!

Coming to America was not easy, it was not guaranteed you would have success once you arrived, and immigrants had to prove so much to so many including their own kind about the new wave of immigration. Overcoming suspicion was a big barrier to master. Children growing up under these conditions were suffering the humiliation of having to interpret to their parents in order to buy insurance, apply for help or speak with a doctor. Often, I remember the times my mom or dad had to stand in for my grandparent because my grandparent could not speak or understand English.

But the immigrants made sure that their children were clean and well-fed, and always respectable.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


Being a diabetic can be a real downer. You take the medications, but you can't seem to stick to a diabetic diet of sawdust and water, you exercise even though you hate it and have the doctor tell you the meds aren't working enough, you need higher dosages, and more or new ones. The exercises only make you arthritis worst and so you have to curtail some things in your routine and you feel guilty about it.

Then one day you discover you need to inject yourself like a drug addict, and so you do. The doctor calls and says the meds are at the max, let's start with needles.

The irony of it all is that the further you delve into trying to stop the progression of the disease, the worse you feel. You realize that your time is running out, that there is nothing you can really do to stem the tide of the illness.

Things like breakfast on a Sunday morning in a dinner with your wife is now questionable, and that is a downer. It adds to the gloom and doom. I shouldn't eat pancakes because pancakes are bad for me. I love pancakes! Eggs? Scramble them and only one piece of dry toast, preferably from sawdust.

I don't drink my Jack Daniels Manhattans anymore, too much sugar, but do have a couple of glasses of red wine. Miss my cocktails.

One should not eat red meat, love a good steak! There is the kidney that has some problem is I have to drink a lot of water according to the doctor, high blood pressure and high cholesterol all contribute to the pill count. I've already had a triple by-pass and a carotid artery cleared, an operation that leaves a scar and numbness across your face. My right foot has been in pain since 1967, over 50 years!

Not to complain but, life is a pain in the foot, a pisser, and frankly, in spite of it all, I intend to find a way to laugh, probably at myself.

On the positive side, I have a new grandson coming soon and I will see my beautiful granddaughter next month. If I can just live long enough.

Friday, February 23, 2018


Maybe I'm being a Pollyanna, thinking that the youth of this country will take us to the level as adults we need to be. My hope is that they will show us, adults, what we need to do is change what we collectively believe.

The rising of their collective voices supports my hope, I see and hear them, this makes me feel better that the youth of this country, tomorrow's America is really now! They, with their clear minds, can see distinctly what the problem is. It is simple, it is a solution, stop the NRA from contributing to politician's coffers, get realistic about bans on assault rifles, and please, don't give us crap about this or that automatic weapon isn't really an assault rifle.

Time after time, interview after interview, the call is clearly heard as the students, the victims of our inaction and reluctance, call us out for our failing them. The parents? They rage and plead and tell us why? Why did this murder that is in Congress' hands had to occur?

But the collective conscience of the youth, the teenagers who are speaking out is set to demand that change is enacted and that the consecrated halls of the Capitol Dome are where it must begin. That we put our children first, not only for today but for tomorrow, when my grandchildren and yours attend schools and my children send those kids off to learn to feel secure that school is a safe place, not a target range for some manic to take aim at.

So, from this horrific event, I feel good about the youth of America, they show sense, the good old-fashioned kind, the common sense. They are tomorrow's leaders, I'm proud of them.

There is nothing wrong with owning guns. Thirty and forty years ago there were no issues, what changed? What changed is the availability of assault rifles became prevalent and advertised, and when we do that we make a change we don't see.

Only 1% to a little over that of mass shootings come from assault guns, and that is an NRA argument to keep them. What they don't argue is the disproportionate numbers it kills in victims.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Victims of the NRA
I was just on Facebook, and to think that it would even allow itself to post things from the NRA, let alone a recruitment for new members, offering a free gift at this time, with all the horrible news. Students of the Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School shooting rising in anger and disgust, proclaiming the truth, that the NRA is not protecting anything but the bottom line.

The audacity that the NRA would even show their face after this latest tragedy makes most people's blood boil. We have lost children, to guns that are easy to get and guns that should not be allowed to be sold. How many more children will be lost before someone comes along like a POTUS to lead a change in our sick culture? What we have is a President who is in over his head, who can't lead by example, has lost the respect of the people who respect the office.

What has happened to us as a country? Where did we go wrong, where did we fail? Why?

We have a business, the NRA that has a chokehold on Congress. A money machine that applies its wealth to further its wealth under the guise of the 2nd Amendment. This amendment was designed to legally allow 18th Century America to arm their militia against foreign and domestic intrusions into their community, it was not designed for individuals to own assault weapons.

But like I said before, the children we have let down by allowing the NRA to exist, are starting a rolling storm across the country, a movement that hopefully will change the tide once and for all, and we can finally ban assault rifles.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


The crazies are out! Yes, they are!

Yesterday I went t my gym and got on an exercise apparatus that requires you sit and peddle. It tells you how far you are going, how fast and you see your heart rate as you peddle. The faster you peddle the more the number goes up. There is a little TV that is mounted on top of the readout so you can spend the time being bored by the news.

As I am serenely peddling away there are few open apparatus that no one is using. Suddenly, this woman shows up in her pink hat, Capri's and sweatshirt. Immediately she starts talking to the machine, somewhat angrily. I keep pedaling, trying not to let her catch me. She mounts and starts her exercise.

For a moment, I thought I was in a porn show or movie or some sex den.  As she starts she is making noises, like guttural groans, grunts, panting and sounding like she is orgasmic in her experience If I didn't know better, I would swear someone was with her on that seat.

Minding my business, I pedal away. I try to pedal faster, maybe I can get by her, but the damned machine is stationary.

Suddenly she looks at me and starts to complain about something on the TV monitor, like it matters to me, indicating that some kind of common sense was needed and asked I opinion.  I shake my head "Yes" and continue on my way. Now I am worried she will want to be my friend. She doesn't realize I don't make friends at the gym, that is where I go to work out, not socialize.

Finally, she jumps off the equipment and leaves. I wonder if I am sweating from the pedaling I'm doing or from fear of having to be her friend.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


There are commercials out there on the TV that seem to get reactions of annoyance out of me.

Case in point: the furniture salesman, everything he sells is $999, COMPLETE! He uses ordinary women he has a crush on and thinks it sells. It may. He used to use the NY Giants football team logo and adornments to associate himself with a winner, he hasn't this past year, the Giants were horrible.

Then there is Roberto. Roberto plays soccer for some team from somewhere. He's in town for some game Roberto is sculpted by Michaelangelo, chiseled from granite. He walks around the hotel he stays at in his underwear and does it after he's done eating. The hotel help takes his picture in his shorts so they send it out via I-phone to the world. Both men and women get excited, I don't, I think the cable provider who set this up needs to move on to another attempt to sell their service, not some soccer player in his skivvies.

There are SUV commercials that scare the Hell out of me. They depict superhuman events, space technologies that make the viewer wonder if they don't fly too. Superman flights and crazy racecar drivers turning and spinning, doing trick turns and stops. Will all this accommodate my granddaughter? How does it really handle in the snow, going uphill or on an icy road? Tell me that.

The country is so much into the world of technological advancements in audio and visual effects, it forgets about its real innovations that mean more than how high or fast the car flies.

Monday, February 19, 2018


A movement is sweeping the country, the movement of reason, and it comes not from Washington or some Senate chamber, but from the schoolrooms and fields of high school students across the nation. They are the voice of reason, they are starting to make a difference.

All too often we ignored them as adults, they don't matter, a 401K does, a bottom line does and so does the right to carry an assault weapon does. But our most precious commodity doesn't, "Now is not the time to discuss gun control" as some might say.

Interviewing teenagers from the horror of the Florida massacre recently that killed the cream of the crop, 17 of our youth, one interview really stood out, the plea to stop the killing. The statement most revealing was that the adults had let them, the students down. The words missing from that statement were: ‘Once again'.

Soon, the time is coming to discuss this madness and we better listen. These so-called children are lending something to us adults we should all respect and heed, that common sense may become common with this new generation, that America will be back in good hands once again. Maybe we should stop and listen, lean forward and shut all the distractions of our lives off and pay attention. Listen to what they say and how they say it. We owe them that. We owe them a deep apology for what we have in our selfishness have created and done to them.

Come this March there will be a rally in Florida, and hopefully, it will grow across our country from Florida to the state of Washington. And while these ‘Kids' are at it, they can teach us about hate, how when you pass through the color, there lies bone and heart and soul, colorless and breathing. Maybe they can teach us about love, what the concept of Christianity really means, not as a separator of different beliefs in God, but that God exists among us all.

I remember hearing these lyrics once and looked them up, they are written by a lady named Isla Grant. Just read them, they say it all.

"They are crying out for peace around the world
They are telling us to stop the hurt and pain
Their smiles can melt the coldest heart
Their tears can pull your world apart
Why don't we listen to the children

Why can't you see the world their eyes can see
There is no room for hate or jealousy
And color means nothing to them
To a child, another is a friend
Why don't we listen to the children

Why don't we listen, to what they try to say
Make a world of peace for them to live in
Take a leaf out of the book
They read to us each day
Why don't we learn a lesson from the children

So everyone around the world join hands
And spread the word of love across the land
Rejoice and live in harmony
And pray that peace, at last, will be
They need the help of you and me, our children

They are crying out for peace around the world
They are telling us to stop the hurt and pain
Their smiles can melt the coldest heart
Their tears can pull your world apart
Why don't we listen to the children"


Sunday, February 18, 2018


Grandma &  JoeJoe

The Street Where She Lived
Grandma Frances had a birthday every January until she died in 1991 at the age of 97! If she had taken better care of herself, she would have lived longer! But no, she insisted on eating red meats, spicy cheeses, and hard salami, wine and often got emotional. At least she didn't smoke.

Until the day she died, she was a nutritionist's nightmare, a living testimony to bad habits.

As a young teenager, I went with Dad into Brooklyn one Saturday to have his taxes made out by a friend of the family. It was tax time, and he decided to visit "Grandma", as we called her after having his income scrutinized by this friend of the family. Arriving at Grandma's house on Fulton Street, we parked the car along the curb and almost under the shadow of the el, stepping over the grating for the IND line that ran under the street, the noise saying: ‘Grandma'. By then there was deterioration of the old neighborhood occurring, so in some ways, it was a sad visit.

Grandma was all excited to see us, in her floral apron and black dress (rehearsing for when she would become a widow) and immediately grabbed my two cheeks (surrounding my nose) and with her index and middle finger, squeezed until I dropped to my knees, where she then made us stay for dinner, even though she had eaten!

Racing down her long hallway that ran adjacent to the railroad flat rooms of the bottom floor, she threw a couple of steaks in a wire holder, dropping then over an open flame on a gas stove in her basement, or cellar as we called it. As cellars went, this one was well-stocked with supplies for a nuclear attack, wine, canned tomato sauce, a refrigerator, sink, pickled eggplant and peppers and of course, various holy pictures that adorned the crude concrete texture of the footprint of the building. The smell of the meat cooking was overpowering my ability to reason, let alone my ability to speak, as my saliva activated at an uncontrollable flow, spraying instead of saying! When she returned, she took out a crusty loaf of Italian bread, some hard salami, and a hard cheese with a gallon of wine, to try to control my salivation problems.

The time it takes to say salad, she had the homemade wine, bread, cheese, and salami along with the best salad ever made, from Grandpa's homemade wine vinegar. A tasty vinegar that always made a simple salad a treat!

Grandma knew how to live, and was very generous.

Often when Dad announced the coming of grandma for a visit, once we calmed Mom down, we anticipated her stately arrival. Something like Queen Victoria arriving at the royal palace, she came usually with an entourage of aunts who, like Grandma expected to eat. To further this expectation which was greater than Hemingway's, she brought along with her cheeses, salami, and a gallon each of wine and wine vinegar, Italian bread (The countryside didn't make Italian bread like Brooklyn) roasted peppers and sometimes canned string beans. With all she did bring, she would preside center table and dispense in Italian, words of wisdom as I sat in awe of her.

As she ate she would look at me and say:

"Joe-joe, you too skinny, mangia! Why you no eater a more?"

Meanwhile, Dad was trying to remember all the hiding places the food was because all I did was eat! I tried to convey this to grandma in a diplomatic way, but Dad was within arm and earshot. And so, when her visit was over, we all respectfully escorted her to the door, with endless kissing of aunts and ladies in waiting, cheeks getting another workout and grandma's: "Joe-joe, you too skinny, mangia! Why you no eater a more?"

I miss those days, the times spent with that generation were magical, someday I will tell you about Grandpa, a man for all seasons and jobs that Grandma assigned him.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


I once thought that this blog would be free of political content. A place to come to and find something other than the drama that plays out every day in our media. But there is one issue that needs to be addressed, it comes to innocent people being slaughtered needlessly by criminally insane individuals going in the guise of Congress.

The fact that assault guns are in the hands of people other than military, makes the statement that years of inactivity, unwillingness to address this issue on the floors of Congress, points out to the fact that the criminally insane are those politicians who support guns as a so-called 2nd Amendment right.

The 2nd Amendment was written so that the common folk could defend themselves against tyranny by the government or foreign power, which was an uncertain entity by those who governed. The states still had sway on the population and the Federal government was still growing in power. The idea was to form a militia of ordinary citizens to prevent over-powering by the Federal government and that needed be: the state militia could defend itself. This fact through the years has been construed as the right of individual citizens arming themselves and then it turning into people owning arsenals of weapons. This concept holds a present and immediate danger to all citizens of the US by enabling those who wish to create harm and havoc on society.

The biggest culprits are the Republican-controlled Congress. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, you know what we have now is not working, it is now at the desperation point and we must act.

I have a granddaughter who I want to have her live her life in safety, not in the crosshairs of a gun. I want her and her classmates to go to school, learn and enjoy her future, not have to cower in fear.

Speaking of cowering in fear, it seems that the Republican party is doing just that, unwilling to address the real culprit of all this mayhem, the National Rifle Association. The NRA represents money-makers who are intended to allow the slaughter under the 2nd Amendment. What they really are doing is protecting a profit base and lobby that will sacrifice our children for the sake of a buck! Shame on them and us for allowing it.

Throw the NRA the hell out of the lobby business. Make it a law that accepting money by politicians from organizations like the NRA is punishable by jail and disbarment along with the impeachment and trial for accepting those supports.

Friday, February 16, 2018


It is amazing how quickly time flies! Things I thought happened just a few years ago, when I look back I realize happened over ten years ago! How does that happen?

There are little incidents that stick out in my mind and when I recall them to my wife, Ellen, she reminds me that they happened years ago. That makes me realize I better not look at any photos from the past and then into the mirror, I will be shocked.

My high school reunion was almost 9 years ago, yet it seems like just last year. Am I living life too fast? Am I cruising the years in a souped-up state of mind?

Recently on Facebook, I was looking at celebrities from the past, photos comparing them as I remember them and how they look today. Hard to believe that they changed so much, and just how much did I change in this period of time?

As I write this, I have just finished reading old blogs of mine that date back to '07, and it is stunning that what is mentioned seems like yesterday. The blog has helped me to chronicle events that occurred in a systematic recording on a timeline that doesn't lie, you can't argue with and reminds you that you are getting old.

I visited a friend of the family this morning, to wish her farewell as she has moved to a new position that will take her out of sight and mind once she leaves tomorrow. She was reminiscing about when she came to her job and how long ago it was, with the look of incredulity that froze her face as she looked at the imaginary timeline.

Let's stop and smell the roses.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


And so, it goes… another gun incident with at least 20 to 50 children injured. This is in the name of the insane idea that the Second Amendment gives the shooter the right to bear arms.

This is on those that feel it is an imposition of their so-called Constitutional rights to bear arms. Each and every one who supports this lie, this affront to the rights of people to safely live their lives, is responsible. They are abetting in this horror, they put the right to have a gun above the right to live.

I frankly am tired of this nonsense. We need to re-examine the interpretation of the original intent of the Second Amendment for a militia, not that a person can bear arms.

Thank you, Mr. Trump! You first need to be responsible, then all those who support you. Blood is on your hands as long as you allow the NRA to make money. This is nothing to do with gun ownership or constitutional rights, it is about making money. It uses the simple-minded people who wrap themselves in the flag and buy into the hatred, prejudice and idiotic self-righteousness of making America Great Again!

How many more children do we kill? How many more fathers won't come home to their children? How many innocent babies die from random shootings? As I write this, at least 17 people are dead. Thank you, Mr. Trump.

I deliberately chose FOX News to listen to this horror, they above all the media are responsible for this encouraging the myth of the Second Amendment, they support Trump and they are followed by those who support Trump.

Trump will give some BS to cover himself, FOX will probably ignor4e their part in this, and we will all wait for the next shooting, and there certainly will be another, as long as we have the right to carry firearms.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018



Love happens all year long, yet I don't get too excited about it. I see the ads and listen to the TV or read the papers and they all remind me, February 14th is Valentine's Day. Amateur Day in America. Make sure you tell your spouse with a card or gift that you love her/him today!

To me, every day is a love day, and I am a lucky man to have such a wonderful wife. I am comfortable with her every day of my married life, no need to send cards, get excited or fall off the planet.

Sharing our lives is a big job, love is a big job, we need to constantly make sure that we do our best, give it 100%. It is too important to slouch or lose focus on what marriage is. It is about the other person, and your commitment to love and respect, support and make easy your spouse part of the marriage joyful.

We will have a special dinner, not go out with the crowds, I won't spend an obscene amount of money for flowers that price is jacked-up for something that will die in a few days. I don't need anything in any form as a gift, she gives me a gift all year long, her devotion and honesty, love and consideration, what else do I need?
Happy Valentines day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Every now and then I sit with my wife at the dinner table and I take a deep breath, as deep as my wife Ellen's. We talked about a lot of things, but the prevalent conversation always returns to the same subject, our children and life experiences.

It seems that we did not live the perfect life, that we had to struggle to make our children happy. There was no perfection when we took our daughter with developmental disabilities to public places. People would stare at us, look with disdain at my daughter and their children learned well from their parents, looking at my child like she was an unwanted freak.

We were branded by events such as a child of ours died. That meant that we were poison, we were branded, that we had a stigma, a dead child and one we mourn every day who lives in a group home, you know where the little yellow bus comes for.

We have dealt with depressions, death, and disabilities, but each of us never held all the cards, no, we shared them. My wife held all the emotional cards, the love and understanding of our little girl and I held all the decision cards, what I needed to do and where I would go with this.

But in the end, if you look at life as a journey, one of triumph and disappointment, then we had the perfect situation, we had each other.

Monday, February 12, 2018


As I sat with TLW (The Little Woman) over breakfast at our favorite diner, and while the waitress brought us water with straws that she gently tossed on our table, TLW asked me if I had heard of the new straw law being pressured by California.

The law being introduced this month if passed would make giving a straw to a customer in a restaurant a new crime. The penalty would be incurred on the individual waiter who violates the law:

"Under Calderon's law, a waiter who serves a drink with an unrequested straw in it would face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000."

Some are already pushing back on this claim stating that the fine and jail time would apply to the restaurant as an entity, not the waiter.

This bill would prohibit a food facility, where food is consumed in a restaurant from providing single-use plastic straws to consumers unless requested by the consumer.

I'm sorry, but this is stupid. Not so much that there are penalties but the out of bounds severity of those penalties.

Say for instance you work as a waiter or waitress and arrive late for work one day, due to traffic congestion and the LA traffic nightmares. Your boss reams you out in front of your co-workers or even customers, embarrassing you.

Humiliated, you plot revenge. You get your first table and immediately place an unrequested straw on the customer's table. Then you quit, who pays for this indiscretion, the boss or owner of the place?

If we are to govern ourselves, we need to govern our actions first and balance law with the consequences of what the penalty should be appropriate. But California is not the only government going nuts, Scotland of all places has a similar code to make Scotland the only plastic straw-free country in the world. Granted California should get its independence, and I'm sure the British are thinking so should Scotland.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


It's all the rage!

Road rage… leads to violence.

What's going on here?
The ‘Me-2' movement is now reaching a righteous logic, for the decency, we need to show to women. It seems that things have gone so far off track that it is depressing me. I think of all the women in the past who were domestically abused in their lives and I wonder how many more cases there are that haven't been reported?

Years ago, when immigrants from Europe settled in America, there were families that felt the wrath of abusive husbands and fathers and sometimes even wives. It seemed to be an acceptable way of living that was tolerated because ‘he' was the breadwinner.

In its many forms including economic, emotional, physical, religious, and sexual abuse, can result in disfigurement or death. Unfortunately, it is a global phenomenon that fixates on most women. It is mankind's tragedy. Let's face it, it is a fault of men's that sometimes is learned and emulated in later years by young men with their wives.

Thank God for the ‘Me 2' movement, we start by respecting women, then move forward from there. Any man who has this tendency needs to be re-educated to what is acceptable normal behavior towards women.

Not only women need to be protected these days, but old people, and children as well. The days of uncivility should have gone away years ago, with the ending of the stone age.

If you take a look at it a little closer, it isn't always evil that drives these matters, like I said the acceptance of such behavior is sometimes learned. I remember many instances where my parents would discuss someone who was a wife-beater, or an abused wife who had to watch her step for fear of beatings from her husband or significant other, be it heterosexual or homosexual relationships.

The problem in my eyes is that women are growing in so many beneficial ways for mankind, and may have been ahead of men in the emotional sense from the dawn of man. Men who think with the idea of muscle controls fear the loss of their power to control so they use their muscle.  Women are finally grabbing some of the power and protecting themselves through the courts and social media.

Having come from a home of four sisters and my mother's guiding hand, it is abhorrent to think they would ever be abused, nor would the idea of hitting my wife or children is equally unacceptable. Likewise, I expect my sons to follow that line of emotion thinking, my daughter-in-law and granddaughter are precious to me, and although I understand neither son is like that, and it gives me comfort, they must always keep in mind that respect for women is most important.

Often, I wonder just how wonderfully calming the World at large would be right now if it was run by women. Am I a feminist? I don't think so, just a realist. Maybe we could all take a hard look at the realities as they exist, with the numerous wars and corruption that have occurred in a man's world.

Saturday, February 10, 2018


--> I usually get my medications from Aetna Home Delivery in my mailbox. One medication I suspect they are screwing me with. I always run out of it before I should. The doctor puts in the prescriptions on time and they have clearly indicated on the return the dosage.

So, of course, there is a master plan that should work and doesn't. To the last possible day do I get the meds, not one day sooner.

Then they arrive and I go through the list and discover, the medication I always fall short on is really short this time. I should get a three-month supply, 90 pills, instead I get 7 pills and notice the med has no refills. So, what do I do? I call my doctor. (You thought I was going to say I took a nap)

I reach for my cell phone and call the boy, and this is what I get

"Doctors office"

"Hi, my name is Joe Delbloggolo, and I'm Dr. Ponchovilla's patient. I got my meds in the mail today and I am short 83 pills of Ramamucchie that I take once a day. All I got was 7 and it can no longer be refilled.

"Your doctor is?"


"And you are???"

"Joe Delbloggolo"

"And you are calling, why?"

"Because I'm short 83 pills of Ramamucchie."

"What is your birthdate?"

"July, way back when."

"Are you Joseph?"

This person speaks perfect English, she just doesn't understand it. This is of course, different from my usual complaint of not understanding what I usually get on the phone. Accents can be excused because this is America, stupidity takes some adjustment.

Friday, February 09, 2018


Yesterday I was perusing a catalog from a company that sells all kinds of product. The product list is considerable and covers a lot of different areas. Some of the product are whimsical, some seem like a good idea and some just plain dumb.

In the catalog was an insert from a company I followed for years for their techniques in selling collectible products. Things like coins, South African Krugerrands and dolls among many other things are sold with impressive sales pitches usually in the form of collectibles. They offer certificates of ‘Authenticity' and make the readers want to buy these things. Miniature cars cast in some metal made in plastic are sold as if they really were valuable.

Back in the 80's, collectible plates were a big thing, and when you had the series, they had you.

As I was reading the different little pup set ads, something fell out of the catalog, a free-standing insert by this company, and let me tell you, people will buy anything, just make up a reason.

On the inset was a lamp that they expect people with taste to set in their homes on a desk, table or what have you, of the ugliest thing I have ever seen being sold, Yoda the Jedi, his words and a shade that comes with all this for $21.99!

I would rather own a statue of Buddha or Christ with the spiritual implications than this Yoda with its commercial links, void of any philosophic reasons other than filling someone's pockets.

Thursday, February 08, 2018


I'm currently ghost-writing a book for someone. It is a book about a child growing up in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn during the late 40's or early 50's. It is an interesting production because of my own passion for those times as I grew up in Brooklyn.

The person who wants this book is a lot like myself, from an Italian family, with the values that we were taught in the streets of Brooklyn. There were valuable lessons that we took from the experiences into adulthood, the naked sense of survival, of loyalty, of adventure and of course the strong support from the main base, our family.

Much of what I am writing he says in his own words, relating stories and events as he saw them having an impact that became a visual imprimatur for things in his life. I am simply retelling it per his request. The added experiences of his life are simply mine. I am painting a picture with a broader brush, adding details that translate into a more realistic experience.

I'm writing everything in the present tense so as to bring the reader into the street, home, and school where these events occurred and help the reader live it. I have added my own insights to the stories and can feel AND RELIVE them as I do, making this writing experience whole. There are few things I have done creatively that gave me the pleasure this experience does.

The book is titled: A PLACE CALLED BROOKLYN. I hope to have this book published and on bookshelves by June. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


It's a favorite among the Irish, the song Mother Mc Cree, it sums up all the deep emotion and love that the Irish have for mothers, especially their own. When you hear the song sung and look into the eyes of an Irishman, there is a distant look, backward to the days of mom when life was at its best.

There's a spot in me heart which no colleen may own,
There's a depth in me soul never sounded or known,
There's a place in my mem'ry, my life that you fill,
No other can take it, no one ever will,

The words tell you all you need to know and hear, that she is THE memory in the lives of Irish children, a beautiful thing to behold.

Sure I love the dear silver that shines in your hair,
And the brow that's all furrowed and wrinkled with care.
I kiss the dear fingers so toil-worn for me,
Oh, God bless you and keep you, Mother Machree!

I had a Mother McCree and I often think about her, remembering a laugh, a smile and a kindness that was ever-present. I, of course, was a lucky one, who loved his mother-in-law and was always happy to see her. But to get the full benefits of her visit, one needed to engage her in her past, her days as a child and memories of event s that shaped her heart and soul. There was the time she rode with her father in his car, and someone passed him on the road, and how he got his dander up and decided it was an affront to his manhood to have anyone pass him. She would laugh when she told it.

There was the Grandma Helen I feared when she got ahold of my kids and spoiled them, buying them all kinds of toys every time she saw them. I had to beg my wife to ask her mother not to buy these little toys because they were all over my house like locust!

Then there is the Mary McBride cookbook, a family heirloom that TLW (The Little Woman) brought with her when she married me. It is a special cookbook that was used by Helen. If anything, Helen loved versatility. The cookbook helped her cook, but also help her children do their homework.
The Cookbook

Of course, I can't forget the stories TLW related to me through the years about her mom when Mom's children were little, like the one where she took out her pots and pans and gave them to her kids to play with, IN THE MUD! A cool mom or what?
Notice the cut out! Homework
Today is Helen's birthday, she would have been 104. She lies peacefully in a cemetery with her beloved Jim, with a view of my parent's grave, just two rows over and so easy when we visit the graves.

So, when you hear that beautiful ode to Mother McCree, think of your own mom and all the tenderness you experienced, I know I will. I miss my mom, she passed a few years ago and this song triggered memories of two moms, how lucky I am.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


It was the best in a long time. Last year when the Patriots came from behind, it was an exciting game as it went on. It didn’t reach the stage of riveting until the second half began and New England made that spectacular comeback.

This year it was a great game, close and New England proved how great they are, even in defeat. Tom Brady is an amazingly talented man, poised under pressure, sure of himself and his team never feels they are out of it.

Nick Foles is the rebirth of Tom Brady, at least for Sunday’s Super Bowl. Did he play over his head or is he just that good? He managed with his teammates 41 points, slinging the ball just as self-assuredly as the master Tom Brady. If you rooted one way or the other, you really didn’t appreciate what a great game it was, the teams were pretty evenly matched and kudos to all of them. When the final second ticked off, I wondered if there really was a loser.

A SUPER Super Bowl!

With all the controversy with concussions, kneeling and the usual crime these meatheads get involved in off the playing field, they did a great job for the NFL for a change.

Monday, February 05, 2018


This is a copy of something someone very wise posted and I am copying it here for you to read because I’m too lazy to write anything today. But it is worth the read.
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.
The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, "We didn't have this 'green thing' back in my earlier days."

The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

The older lady said that she was right -- our generation didn't have the "green thing" in its day. The older lady went on to explain:

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But, too bad we didn't do the "green thing" back then.

We walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the "green thing" in our day.
Back then we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.
Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the "green thing" back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a r azor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the "green thing" back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family's $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the"green thing." We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the "green thing" back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person.

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off... Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can't make change without the cash register telling them how much.

Sunday, February 04, 2018


Do you know where your food is?

What is it about Super Bowl Sunday and the need to make it a religious experience? It's like when my mother made me go to church on Christmas Day, get dressed and attend the Mass, then comes the company and the big dinner. Today it is dressing in your team colors, going to the TV or computer and filling yourself up with Pizza, Chile, Chinese food, chips and dips and more reverence than going to church. Both events require watching the clock.

I recall the first three or four Super Bowls I watched. The first two were just games of interest to me, as a new football league challenged an old one and got beat. Then the third one, with the famous $400,000 signing bonus baby from the University of Alabama came on the scene and predicted his team and mine, the NY Jets were going to beat the Baltimore Colts.

Watching the game that Sunday, a Sunday that the priest on his pulpit asked us all to pray for the Jets like the Devil was pulling for Baltimore. The game was on TV around noon or 1:00 pm. And ended in my being happy! I then sat down to dinner my mother made. This was the hight of my fandom happiness for the NY Jets, now I just cry every year.

I wonder why food has become an element in the watching of the game? In fact, why is eating so important when we go to the movies? Is food that important to us? I'm sure the Asians and South Americans, as well as the Europeans, eat like we do at these events as well.

Ken Belson wrote for the New York Times in 2013 about the British experience of watching their version of ‘football':
"In soccer-mad Britain, where fans shuttle from pub to stadium to pub, and opposing fans rarely mix, there is no equivalent of tailgating, the verb of which is defined as "to eat a meal served from the back of a parked vehicle."

Sports fans from Europe, on the whole, eat at home and then go to the game, as so do Asians and South Americans. This just tells you that soccer stadiums do not provide food as an end-all for their sport as does American football/baseball does.

Saturday, February 03, 2018


The other day we got our credit cards from the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Co. It was a proud moment, something akin to the old Russians getting their Communist Party Membership card, or even a Nazi flaunting his membership card.

To be a fulltime member, one must activate the card, so I go on my cell phone and make the call. This is, of course, magical and someone thanks me for calling in English. I listen as she directs me to push #1 for English and then gives me all the instructions. I follow carefully, deliberately punching up the numbers and being very careful as to no mistakes on my part.

After the last number is pushed, the lady in English says my attempt was wasted, something doesn't match! This can't be, I match, I check my socks and they match, my shoes look alike almost, and even my hands look like they belong together. Is this the way for the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Company to tell me I am no longer wanted? Is this financial rejection?

I take an aspirin and try again, this time I double check my number punching, being more positive than ever in my young life. Still, that ugly dark message is conveyed once again to me: "Forget it, Pal, you don't match!"

Retreating to my kitchen I make a cup of tea, pray to St. Anthony (Saw this work once in real time by TLW) and suddenly realize, I am using my cellphone, not my home phone! Another mystery of yours truly solved! 

Armed with assurance, I make one last attempt and this time I change phones, check my socks and shoes and dial, hitting pay dirt! I'M IN! I'M IN! I'M IN! I'M IN! I'M IN!

Now all I need to do is have some money to make the membership card mean something!

Friday, February 02, 2018

HOW DO YOU DO!!!!!!?

Jessie PA

I went to my quarterly checkup a few days ago and was greatly surprised, but pleased.

My physician retired and when he did he left an office that once was decorated in early 1970, with old floors and lousy rugs and paneling throughout the many rooms and a telephone booth that he converted into a room that housed a toilet and sink. This is the crucial room where you go to give out your pee sample and they see if you need shock or Ph balance like a pool.

I arrived at the office and enter the reception room, and I'm blown away! Yes, everything has changed, new flooring, a paint job, and some really nice prints on the walls beautifully framed. The chairs are all new and comfortable and I'm thinking: WOW!

There's even a little nameplate stating the attending physician is Jesse, the Physician's Assistant. "JESSIE PA" Just like that.

I have to sit down and take a breath. This is all too heady, and I wonder if my old doctor knows about these changes, let alone a Physician's Assistant.

A new nurse comes out and calls me in. She has a rich Germanic accent and is gorgeous, and I'm thinking its Jessie the new person in the mix.

I get ordered to step on the scale, then told to go pee.

Returning with the cup I place it on the counter next to my paper file. There is a computer screen in every one of the four examining rooms, with all your data about medications and tests or any criminal activity I may have been involved in.

Suddenly there is a knock on the door of the examining room, something that sounds soft, polite, maybe even sexy-it must be Jessie!!!

It is, and if she tries, she will never be sexy in my eyes, her voice is deep and she has the makings of a beard.

Jessie is a male nurse.

Thursday, February 01, 2018


When you have a slight hearing loss like I do, where you don't hear well on the phone, in large places, small places and yes, those places in between, life can be tricky. Your ordinary day is filled with heightened tension and worried anticipation as someone speaks.

The Little Woman (TLW) has been dealing with this problem since she married me, and yet she did. Without her cooperation, you would not have such notables as Moonstomper and Mike Headroom, who people have stated never seeing the two in the same room. If you are curious about this, be afraid, very afraid.

The other day I got a call while I was away. Coming home I found a message on my phone from a somewhat familiar looking phone number. Usually, the calls left on my phone are sales calls by Robo, and I just erase them. This one seemed to call out to me to listen to it. IT WAS MY DOCTOR'S OFFICE! My God, was I dying? Was there something terminally wrong with me? Is this the end. Looking into the mirror, I said my goodbyes, yes, this is the end.

I pick up the phone and there on the message was the doctor himself, telling me something about something, which was OK, except he was speaking in such a rush and at a high pitch. Had no idea when I was dying, but he seemed to be in a hurry to tell me something. Do I cancel my trip to California? Do I fill my gas tank? Do I even have lunch?

So, picking up the phone I call TLW.


"Hi Toots, can you do me a favor and call the answering machine and retrieve a message that the doctor left. I couldn't understand a word he said."

She calls to tell me that the doctor said that I had an appointment tomorrow at 9:00 AM and would meet with a Jessie who is the new LPN!

So much for dying, it's worst-his co-pay!