DelBloggolo

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

NOVEMBER 22, 1963


After all these years, 55 in November, we will continue to speculate on where the fatal gunshots came from that assassinated John F. Kennedy, President of the United States.

It would not suffice to say the shots came from Lee Harvey Oswald, that would take away the intrigue, no, we need speculative comment we need supposition and intrigue.

Dealy Plaza in Dallas and the sixth-floor schoolbook depository has become a tourist sight, and Amos Euins an eyewitness was the testifier that it all came from the book depository. He witnessed the shooting from the window on the book depository.
I think that we can no longer play with the cold hard facts as they present themselves that only one person shot the President, that it wasn’t Castro, the KGB, CIA, Johnson himself, or some cabal that made the speculation plausible. It seemed then that everyone had a motive to kill JFK.

Let's face it, we need intrigue, speculation and some kind of doubt to make our lives more interesting.


Monday, May 21, 2018

I REMEMBER WHEN

Driving home from the gym this morning I passed the local convenience store and it was still closed. The sun was rising and beating right into my eyes, causing me to put on my sunglasses.

Many years ago, when I was a young kid living in Brooklyn, as I awakened in the morning, I would see the sun rising, filtering into the blinds and hitting me in the eyes as it started its journey across the sky. With that clue of a new day was the incredulously delicious smell of Italian bread baking from the bakery next door, and along with Mom making her coffee as it percolated leaving the smell of freshly brewed coffee got me to get up hungry. It struck me that I no longer smell those smells at sunrise or anytime and haven’t since we moved from Brooklyn.

Olfactory experiences seem to be changing or the smells are disappearing from the Earth as I age.  I remember the smell of the peddler’s horse as he stood there waiting to move when given the command, the distinct odor of the back of an old TV when we changed the vacuum tubes that died out.

On a winter’s day, entering the school building I could smell the steam radiators as they heated up. The grocery store had a trigger effect on me, the fresh cut cold cuts of salami and cheese, all combining to heighten my appetite. Walking into a fresh vegetable store with an outside stand, the rotted, as well as the fresh, took turns invading your sinuses.

For some reason, walking into a bar on our corner with my dad when he picked up a pizza there was the aroma of the beer on tap, giving me a want to eat, the smell always made me hungry.

If you walked along Broadway under the el, every store had an odor, particular was the five & dime store. The smell was interesting, the odor of new goods placed in bins where women like my mom would pick through them.

The candy store on the corner across the street from the bar was special, the delicious smell of the candy section, the aroma, and taste of the Mello-roll or an egg cream, each with its own telltale aroma.

That first day of school, when the teacher handed out the new books, you cracked them open and took a whiff. Mimeograph papers, you had to smell them: it was intoxicating and a must!

There was an Italian bakery on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, you walked in and could smell the favors that were given out at Italian weddings, the almond candy in the hard white shells, the fresh loaves of bread that were put through the slicer in one shot, or the wonderfully intoxicating aroma of sesame seeds!

One of the greatest smells in my youth was the shoe man’s shop. The smell of the fresh cut leather, the polish, all lent itself to an aromatic experience, he looking so wise.

Dad had an old Plymouth that he parked in front of our apartment, my older sister Tessie and I would go and sit in it on a Sunday afternoon after dinner and pretend we were driving somewhere. (She did the not diving), but the smell of the steering wheel was unique, and I don’t think there is that anymore.

Then there was the visit to Grandma’s house, oh, so special, the odors as she cooked gripped your stomach and wouldn’t let go until you had to push yourself away from her table. She would cook or roast a steak ojn the open flame and drive my crazy with hunger, she know it too!
I miss those days, and it stinks!


BUONGIORNO, FACE-A-BOOK!


The traffic light turned yellow, just in front of Aldo.

He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection

The tailgating Rosa was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration with Italian swear words, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.

The officer ordered Rosa to exit her car with her hands up.

He took her to the police station where Rosa was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door.

Rosa was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, ''I'm very sorry for this mistake, Mrs Baccala. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him.
I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally...I assumed you had stolen the car.''

Sunday, May 20, 2018

IT’S MADDENING


Since the Columbine shootings, 122 mass killings of students have occurred. With the death or suicides of perpetrators, 128 fatalities.

These are the 10 deadliest school shootings since Columbine (15 deaths):
1.    2007 Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Va. — 33 deaths
2.    2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Conn. — 27 deaths
3.    2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla. — 17 deaths
4.    2015 Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, Ore. — 10 deaths
5.    2018 Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, Tex. — 10 deaths
6.    2005 Red Lake Senior High School, Red Lake, Minn. — 7 deaths
7.    2012 Oikos University, Oakland, Calif. — 7 deaths
8.    2006 West Nickel Mines School, Bart Township, Penn. — 6 deaths
9.    2008 Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Ill. — 6 deaths
10.    2014 Marysville Pilchuck High School, Marysville, Wa. — 5 deaths

"More people have been killed at schools this year than have been killed while serving in the military" — just over 30, versus just under 30, per the Washington Post's Philip Bump.

Yes, but: "The figures ... do not suggest schools are more dangerous than combat zones. After all, there are more than 50 million students in public elementary and high schools and only about 1.3 million members of the armed forces. So far in 2018, a member of the military has been about 40 times as likely to be killed as someone is to die in a school shooting."

The reasoning of this statement does not prove anything since we don’t send our children to war-zones, we send them for an education that comes with the peaceful understanding that allows for debate and reasonable discourse, not indiscriminate mass killings. Besides, what is that argument is stating, that since less died in schools than on a battlefield, it is OK for people like Vice President Pence or Senator Cruz to state that their “prayers” go out to the families of the victims or that we need to identify the people with mental illness rather than take away their source of murder?

Maybe the real source of murder is Congress and the Republican Party. Maybe it is time to stop kidding ourselves and look in the mirror knowing full well that we are enabling a false concept that the Second Amendment means that ordinary citizens can individually arm themselves. That they are all single militia’s, that they have a right to carry these arms, where their disgruntled and misguided children and sometimes themselves can exact revenge for the slights they feel they experienced.

I need to know what the rules are, the bogus Second Amendment “Right” or the safety of our children? We are slaughtering our youth due to passive resistance to the carnage and the ill-conceived notions about the Second Amendment. Do we suspend the rights of the potential victims, do we lay this blame on anything other than Congress taking the appropriate actions needed to protect our children? Keeping a gun in the house doesn’t make the world safer from intruders, since they invade our schools, killing for more victims and far more frequently. Who are we kidding?

I doubt that shutting down the NRA is the answer. The answer is in our laws, our sane choices that weigh the value of an argument that states someone’s Second Amendment rights are being taken away as opposed to taking away our children's lives, permanently.


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Saturday, May 19, 2018

HATS AND THE MAD HATTER


As I write this I am watching the Royal Wedding on the Tellie. The bride is on her way to Windsor Castle in a black sedan and all the celebrities have arrived. The stage of royal grandeur is set and all the actors are at their stations, ready to perform on the stage.

Actually, it is great that we are witnessing something of this happy magnitude after all the garbage we have as a nation subjected ourselves to with the nonsense that prevails in Washington. And we can take pride in the event since it includes an American citizen who is half responsible for the occasion.

Elton John, George Clooney, Oprah, and the likes are all in attendance as American’s rise at 4:00 AM eastern time to witness this event on their own TV screens. They also witness the fact that they didn’t plan a wedding of such magnitude without politicians from anywhere.

I for one am happy to know that the Rev. Curry from I believe, South Carolina, an Episcopal bishop gave such a wonderful and expressive sermon on what is the most important thing we need in this World; Love. When Mom was getting older and no longer the physical being she once was, I spent my time up until the day she died, visiting her and making her laugh. We walked down the old neighborhoods, spoke of the old relatives and spent the moments connecting as mother and child. I understood that I could only do this while she was living, that nothing I would do after her death would be of use to her living spirit when she needed me most. I did all I could that her soul would rest in peace and mine would be guilt free for lack of love. The moments immediately after her passing there was an understanding that she was now with me eternally, her presence would be deep in my soul, that what cemented it was love, for her, and her love for me. Praying over her earthly body had no meaning, being with her while she was alive was more important.

I watched as the Bride Meghan’s mother who was at the center of this moment, a black woman and how proud she must have been for her daughter, humbly fight back the tears, I thought, you must have been a great mom, a prince reached out to your daughter from across the ocean and through your good examples and upbringing, made it all possible indirectly.

Most importantly, it breached the divide that separates the white race from the black race and made it the Human Race once again.

Underlining this whole event was the number of hats that were paraded by on some of the women in attendance, some looking like they were made in a hurry.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

THE FAT LADY WILL SING, SOON

Recently, I had the Town of Brookhaven come to inspect my home because of the addition I built onto it. They came the first time and said I had to install an alarm to prevent a child from going into the pool area and drowning, so the alarm would sound and we could stop the horror from happening. This meant that he had to come back a second time.

In our conversation the first visit, he led me to believe that I needed to install the alarms on the outside gates since that is where these little kids would come from. His words and visible indications to me meant the gates. I also had to install a CO detector and a smoke detector.

Doing all the installations, I invite him back to see what was done. He comes, sees the two detectors and asks where the alarms are, I tell him out on the gates. He says they need to be on the doors inside, leading to the pool areas. He has to come back again.

Out I go and undo the alarms and reinstall them in the house. I call one more time, he comes and everything is cool, we are now ready to sell, we will get the CO needed for the room and be able to sell the house. Well, almost.

Turns out that now they the town will send me a checklist of things they want to finalize everything. It will take 5 to 10 business days to come. I have no hope that I have what they want, no confidence that this part is any smoother than the visits. There must be some obscure piece of paper I will need to satisfy the town and they will have some way to make me nuts.

Monday, May 14, 2018

IT’S CONTAGIOUS!


Sometimes life’s lessons fall on deaf ears, and sometimes they stay part of you for a lifetime. Sometimes we are willing to listen and sometimes we shield those flaps along the side of our heads.

There is so much truth in the adage that youth is wasted on the young because it is the lessons that we learn and come to understand in our old age that could have been useful in our youth.

For instance, how many of us can understand human suffering in our teens and 20’s? How many of us took the time to reach down to help lift up someone who was abused both mentally and physically as we might do in our elderly years?

Once I was carefree, self-centered, and transfixed on my own imagined deficiencies, both physically and mentally. My self-confidence was filtered by the criticism I inflicted upon myself. I lived for today and immediate gratification never thought about tomorrow and never ever considered those around me and their feelings or emotions that ripped down their self-confidence.

But as I grew older I started to recall all those days and how they came home to me once again. I saw reflections I did not like, echoes of past statements I wish I had heeded, and the actions I took and didn’t take that filled me with guilt.

Life is like a precipice, one that looks out over a vast emptiness that only returns an echo of your past, augmented by the severity of what you did and said so long ago and far away. I can close my eyes and hear it clearer, maybe in that process seeing things as clearly as well. Shouting into that chasm I should have said: “ I believe in you!” or maybe “You can do all things you set out to do.”

This is not to say I did everything wrong or selfishly, just that it was not the most perfect of orchestration for conducting my life. There are things I did do to defy even my self-doubts, my education, my marriage, and my career. All I feel are triumphs either big or small, manifested, and on my ledger of life.

Some tribulations helped me get through the tragedies of the past, the loss of a child, the pain of a child with disabilities that I mourn every day, the infliction of depression on my children, I weathered those storms with the reliance on love and the caring of those who surrounded me, they were the product of my life choices but as a young man and an old one.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!



She is a fierce guardian and protector, a teacher and healer, a mender of souls, beautiful and special. She is a mother, someone who worries about our wellbeing and caring only for our happiness. In our minds, she is eternal, long after she is physically gone.

Today is a special day: it is a day well deserved for celebrating mothers and needs to be celebrated all over the World. It is all about love.

Mothers are more than just parents, a mother is someone who does all good things for her children; she is also a sacrifice of self-comfort, just to birth a child. Her calling is unique, monumental and important: she is giving life to a human being and so, perpetrating the continuance of the human race!

She will always be remembered by her children for her love, the times she did without for the sake of her child, the meaningful lessons implanted in their brains. Years later when a mother is gone, she is still heard in the minds and hearts of her children. Her children stay her child forever, even into a ripe old age.

Today’s mothers have it harder in a way, they have to monitor the temptations and aggression of the social media intrusions, bring her child back to reality and teach that child the lessons she learned when there was no such thing as social media. Above all, mothers give love, understanding and compassion, things that we as children inherit and hopefully practice in our own lives.

So, to all you mothers out there, thank you, you are doing God’s work, you are helping keep this world civilized, and maybe someday, the World will get smart and listen to you, and maybe let you run things.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Friday, May 11, 2018

HANG ON, IT’S GOING BE A RIDE!

As I look toward the future I see a bumpy road. Soon we have to get the house ready for sale. What does this mean, it means hiring contractors and handymen to fix up the place and have it sell.

I need a resurfaced driveway, painting and spackling, and plumbing that needs to be done. My wife doesn’t want me to do any of it. All these past 47 years I took care of it, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, painting and spackling. I guess she feels I too old.

One of the things I hate is hiring these handymen and the pros such as electricians and painters and plumbers. They all come with a price, and when I don’t need them they call all the time. God forbid if I need them, I can’t get them. They don’t answer their phone and if they do they look for ways to get out of it.

When I finally nail one down, there is the price: in my case, there are many prices.

This situation makes my skin crawl, I know I am not going to be completely happy, and the question is just how unhappy, in each instance.

I will miss the house, the memories and my den in particular, but life goes on at least for a little while longer. New quarters will mean new adjustments without looking at work to do. We will probably rent a place and just make ourselves comfortable. Hopefully, we go out east near my daughter in Shoreham.

I remember when I moved into my home, after living in a fix-it-upper that occupied all my free time. Traveling the Long Island Railroad and working all day, coming home bone-tired, then facing weekends, chores and baseball or basketball games, having a newer house was wonderful.

I just need room enough for my two grandchildren to stay with us, and stay in spacious surroundings.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OLYMPIA!


Today is my mother’s birthday, had she lived she would be 100-years old! It always seemed to me to be most appropriate when her birthday fell on Mother’s Day! She was a beautiful lady, shy yet tough, she loved her children and expected the same amongst each other. I was the one she most worried about, her only son of her five children.
Jesus was a prophet, he worked the Middle East and became famous, telling parables and making things perfectly clear with miracles and teachings that made an impression on people. Someone even wrote a book called the ‘New Testament' about him.

Mom was a prophet also. She didn't walk on water unless she was mopping the floors, she could turn a fish and loaf of bread on short notice if the company turned up unexpectedly, and while every knee bent and head bowed at the name of Jesus, I kind of ducked and avoided Mom's wooden spoon therapy. She was an amazing teacher, going to great lengths to get a point across, usually four or five laps around the dining room table in hot pursuit, wooden spoon waving menacingly in the air, inches from my head.

Jesus reminded us of the gates of Hell, Mom reminded me in her own way. Jesus was nicer about it.

But Mom had ominous predictions to her teachings. Here are a few of her better ones.

"Wait! Just wait until your father comes home!"

"Wait, just wait until YOU have kids!" She was big on waiting.

"What, do I look like I’m related to the Lighting company? Shut all these lights!"

"You are going to make me bust!"

"How much butter are you putting on that toast?  A whole pound of butter???"

"Whoa, stop wasting, what am I made of money?"

"Mom, how come we don't go on vacation more?"
Mom: “I need a vacation, leave me alone!”

Mom was a very good money manager;
"Joseph, go ask your father for some money for the collection, we leave for church soon."


Being a churchgoer, Mom made me one at the tender age of 6. She had two hands and I had two ears, and so off we went, ear in hand to church. One Sunday Mom ordered me to go to Dad, wake him up and tell him I needed money for the church. Dad gave me two nickels and off to church I went, ear in hand with Mom. Mom had a pious look akin to Mother Teresa without the nice. if she detected an infraction upon her world order someone would pay, me! I decided one Sunday after I shook down my dad for the two nickels I would substitute the nickels with 2 silver buttons. This was a mistake, especially when it came to money for Jesus. Since I had an eye on spending the two nickels on something to eat, the usher showed up, stuck his bamboo basket under my nose and so I released the first of my buttons. Mom watched but said nothing. The second collection came along, and just like the first, I released the other button, right under Mom's nose and once again, she said nothing. In fact, she said nothing all the way home, in spite of my willingness to initiate conversations. That all ended on the third floor in front of our apartment door, where I was dragged inside and reminded all day long that, maybe it wasn't such a good idea!

But the best thing she ever gave me was her love. She felt that I should be better than I am she had faith in the idea and strongly enforced that concept. Later in years, I realized what she was telling me was I needed to be there for others someday especially my children, to give them a good example and lead the way by example. So, I always made available to MY kids 2 nickels!

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

IT’S LIKE PULLING TEETH

I'm concerned too!
I made an appointment with my dentist for teeth cleaning. I feel good dental hygiene is paramount to healthy living, just like the next guy or gal.

I made this appointment two weeks ago and do like it when a doctor or dentist calls me to confirm an appointment.

So, for two weeks, every day, from early in the morning until late at night, weekends included I got either a text message or an email reminding me that I had an appointment.

My concern was the dental office: CONCERNED DENTAL was becoming too concerned, too caring and too motherly. They were smothering me in concern and anticipation of my arrival. I decided to inform them when I showed up for my appointment that I would suggest a name change for the office.

How about OVERLY CONCERNED DENTAL”?

As I got ready for my visit, shaving my beard, ears, and nose hairs, (don’t really comb my hair anymore) the phone rang about a half hour before it was time to leave for the dentist office.

“Hello”

“Mr. Del Bloggolo?”

“Yes.”

“This is Donna from CONCERNED DENTAL, the dental hygienist is not coming in today so we need to reschedule your appointment. I’m sorry.”

“No problem, don’t let it bother you.”

“Oh, thank you Mr. Del Bloggolo!

“Don’t mention it, I’ll call back for another appointment.”

This will give me time to shop for another less concerned dentist.


Tuesday, May 08, 2018

IT'S-A CUT ABOVE

Went to the barbershop the other day and got my quarterly haircut. As always it is a moving experience. Usually, I get Haim the owner. I think Haim, an immigrant from Israel who has a bloodline that is descended directed from Attila the Hun. A haircut under his swift hands and total disregard for human life is an experience one never forgets. Grabbing your head like it is a hairy bowling ball, he tosses it about from side to side, bending your ear as it gets in his way, he slashes with bold strokes, his arms moving at blinding speed. When he is done he takes a mirror and asks you to look at his handy work, I look instead to see if my head is still in place.

Then we have his assistant and fellow barber, Irina, a Hispanic lady who is very good. Her trouble is communications, as she will motion more than speak a word. As I walk up to the barber chair, Irena looks at me questioningly as to what kind of haircut I want. I say one word: “Short” then I take my place. She then gestures toward the electric razor and the scissors, I say either one. She rips out the razor, then like her associate and boss runs the thing across the side of my head.

I suddenly occurred to me that she may think I want to be totally hairless, shave it all off! I grow uneasy as I sit and watch through the mirror. She moves to the other side of my head and slashes once again. I am really worried, but suddenly she slows down, taking her scissor and starting to gently and precisely trimming.

Then just like that, she raises her middle finger! (Is she giving me the finger? And is she giving me the middle finger in English or Spanish???) She continues to cut and I keep my face motionless like I didn’t see anything.

Once again, I get the finger, or at least it looks like it. Then she rubs it and I realize at the moment she wasn’t giving me the finger, her finger was bothering her!

Maybe I go back to Haim and risk my head again.


Monday, May 07, 2018

SAYING GOODBYE

My everyday view

Saying goodbye to your home of over thirty years is not only difficult it is painful. There is a sadness that seems like a death has occurred or will be soon. The sweet echoes of yesterday seem to linger longer than they should, but yet you can’t seem to let go of them. All you ever said or done seems to play out in your mind in a quick succession of visions and sounds.

We are about to place our home of over 30-years on the market, and when we do we will close out the final chapter of our lives. Children growing up, parents who once visited, relatives and friends who sat and related stories will be a thing of the past. Even death had a part to play in this place we call home it too had meaning.
My Wall of Frame
I can still hear my youngest son sitting in his bath in the upstairs bathroom, small enough to occupy the sink and leave room to spare. I see his older brother putting up a computerized ‘WELCOME HOME MIKE’ across our den on the day we took Mike home for the first time.

I still remember how happy I as to have reached this place, it as a step up from our starter house, no more renovations to do, just maintaining it, yet today we think of turning it over for someone to renovate and so the cycle of life goes on.

For myself, I will miss my den, the room I spend all my time in during most of my waking hours, utilizing my computer, watching TV, and reading, problem-solving and planning for the next day. My countless hours on the phone with agency business and a place where I can look across and find my wife asleep after a long day-thinking life is perfect now.

Maybe where I’m going will have a character of its own, one where I can identify and make it a home, my last home until eternity.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

THE RULES OF WAR

She's with dumbass

It’s in the marriage license, in the fine print somewhere that most young men are unaware of. It states that your spouse will question knowledge gained either prior or consequently obtained.

Such things as repairs around the domicile, when they will be completed and by who shall fall under the clause titled: "Tacē, Maritus!" This is the perfectly acceptable legal translation by the TORO Law School if they cared.

Case in point: installing a gate alarm for a pool, perhaps a smoke detector, or even a recipe that requires a certain method of both ingredients and style of cooking. What this translates to is that the wife (spouse of the first part) will question husband (spouse of the second part) relentlessly, without duly considering sanity or the fact that the husband must bear responsibility for proposing in the first place, being foolish enough to think he can make the repairs, and his lousy history that mars his past.

The wife, all-knowing and not afraid to let husband know it will bring into question often and without cessation until the husband cries, possibly asking for his mommy.

Just an FYI as my Sunday gift to you.

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!


Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).

I’m back after a few days off. Sometimes you need to do that sort of thing for mental health.

Today is what I call an adoptive holiday, a day we embrace as Americans and get to celebrate. There is very little needed to encourage Americans to celebrate, and this is one of them. You have Columbus Day, St. Patrick’s, and these days e adopt and thread them into our culture.

What I guess I’m saying is that here in the United States, we celebrate a worldwide culture replete with every ethnic group in the world coming together in one place, America!