Sunday, November 30, 2008


This is the time of the year when paranoia sets in. It’s it the time when I worry about getting TLW (The Little Woman) a Christmas present or two. It starts in my sleep. I dream that it is Christmas morning, and I didn’t get her anything. I awake with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and the sweats. It is a very down and disappointing feeling! This disappointing feeling stays with me until I get her something.

But the fear does not go away. Now when I get everything, I worry about wrapping it. And if that isn’t enough, the card, I need a card! What if I forget to make or buy a card?

I know, I sound ridiculous, but she is the only one I really worry about. Everyone else we think about together.

But Christmas isn’t the only day I act this way. There is Valentine’s Day, her birthday, our anniversary, and so it goes.

I think I am like that because my Dad: would forget. Mom would be insulted and Dad would look like he stepped in it. He usually did.

This year I haven’t started to shop yet. I have an idea of what to get, but I have to do it. Talk is cheap, so I better get my self out there and brave all those women shoppers. Pray for me.

Please remember my pals Joan and DD and all who need our prayers, especially during this holiday season.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Thanksgiving was very special this year. I was lucky to spend it with my family and see that life goes on. Although not all my sisters were present physically, they were in my heart. The laughter, and good food all lend a kind of special blessing to things. TLW (The Little Woman), #2 Son and my little angel, Ellen, made it extra special. I wish #1 Son were there to share. #1 Son was there in spirit.

My Mom sat and watched us laugh, cook, and carve. She ate in silence and I think just watched what she had started so long ago. The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren came together to reaffirm our being, and to share.

Perhaps having my daughter stay for the whole day, sitting and enjoying herself for the first time was special. I can remember just a moment of time in the day, of her sitting with everyone, allowing her Mom and I to enjoy the company.

You know, having a child with special needs is a grave responsibility. You can only rely so much on society to protect her. As her father, I need to watch for her wellbeing. Little Ellen defines TLW and me. We live for her each day. She is my special angel.

It must have been cold there in my shadow,
To never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way.
You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,
While you were the one with all the strain.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
But I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth,
of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Please remember Joan and DD, and all that need our prayers.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving is for shoppers. Actually, it is for lovers’!

It was 38 years ago, in my brand new Camaro, in which I proposed to TLW (The Little Woman). I brought her home to Mom and the covenant of four sisters for our traditional after Thanksgiving leftovers dinner, (Tasted even better the second day!)

I knew I was going to ask her, but didn’t think she would say: “Yes”. The stars were on my side that night. I wanted to see if she would mix well with the ‘trouble-makers’, and left feeling like she belonged to that family more than I did!

We met in July, started dating soon after and I proposed in November, whirlwind, if I do say so.

But it is also a dark day in our lives. In 1980, we took our son Joseph, a year and a half old to a neurologist to check out his seizures, only to start the hard process of hospitalization and his eventual death in January, just shy of his second birthday.

So today is a bittersweet day for me. It is a day that epitomizes life itself. It makes us happy to see the sun, with a weary eye on the night.

Please remember my pals: Joan and DD, and all those that suffer and need our prayers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


It was 1956, and Mom was busy making her great turkey dinner on a sunny Thanksgiving Day! We all had a chore or two to do, and in anticipation of a great dinner, were busily doing it.

But oddly, something was amiss! Where was Dad?

We lived in a small ranch house at the time. My Mother’s youngest sister was coming for the holiday, and as usual, the two families would spend the holiday together. But where was Dad?

The table was being set, the turkey roasting away and Mom in her uniform of the day, an apron over her dress, quietly cooked the masterpiece. But where was Dad?

I got the gallon of home made wine out, and placed it on the table, just like Dad wanted. We placed cloth napkins around the plates, but where was Dad?

Suddenly from out of the bedroom we could all hear: “Lena!” It was Dad!

Mom went into the bedroom and spoke with Dad. Mom came out and called my aunt. Dad’s sister: Angie. Meanwhile we were called into the bedroom to say our last goodbyes to Dad. He was dieing, and it was time to say: “Goodbye.”

Dad didn’t say much, just looked at us with a dogged face and cough. I was near tears, water was welling up in my eyes, and I couldn’t see anything, let alone Dad. Suddenly there was a commotion at the door and my Aunt Angie appeared. She suggested, before we buried Dad, to call the doctor. Mom was strangely quiet all this time, like she knew something, but would go along with Dad.

I wondered: “Would God take Dad on Thanksgiving Day? With a turkey and Italian stuffing in the over? My God! The turkey wasn’t even cooked through yet!”

The doctor spoke to Mom on the phone, and after a brief conversation with Aunt Angie, my aunt went: “Ooh Fah! Tony, all you have is the flu!”

We all laughed at the sight of us all standing over Dad, wringing hands and all.

Remember those like Joan and DD who need our prayers.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I began my first encounter with a physical therapist. A bright articulate lady named Georgina. First, there were no leather pants or whips like I thought might be the case. Second, with all the agony, she might as well have used whips!

I was the first patient of the day, and I immediately woke up! She started by giving me a mild interrogation, just like the Nazi’s, then, we went to the equipment. Exercises, machines, and more machines were the order of the day. Turning and twisting my right shoulder until I screamed: “Uncle!” I think at one point I may have uttered: “HOLY JESUS!” She stopped at that point, thinking maybe Jesus WAS my uncle!

Georgina was on quest to rehabilitate my shoulder and eliminate my tendonitis, or kill me. She is realizing one of her goals. Services will be next week.

So twice a week I will go. Joining old men, we will be treated by three young ladies, all with one goal in mind, making us cry.

Today I got some ice treatment, and sonic treatments. The object of the sonic treatment is to spread a jelly substance on my shoulder. With a ball that is connected electronically, they try to dig a hole in the shoulder and maybe strike gold. The cold treatment is simple. It has claws in a blanket that they place over the shoulder, turn on the machine it is connected to, then watch my face as the claws in the blanket get tighter and tighter, squeezing the bone until I call for Uncle Jesus once again. It then sends pulsations into the shoulder, every so often sending a shocking grip that feels like it is separating the shoulder.

Please remember to say a little prayer, even a one word two words one for those you care about, like I do. Joan and DD.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yes, the stalwart of low-fat, low portions, the Queen of healthiness, TLW (The Little Woman) is sick. Ailing, under the weather she looks. She finally caught the cold that she gave me. But I forgive her.

This past Friday, she went bowling with her work mates, and came home walking like someone shot her in the legs. Slowly, frowning, little steps and hops, with: “Ooh, ooh!” she went. Coupled with her cold, she looks like “Quaresima” an Italian expression meaning ‘Lent’, a solemn period in the Church.

Well, Happy my stupid dog, likes to awaken about 3:00 AM to do her business. This means I have to let her outside. Since I am deafer than a doorknob, TLW will give me a shot across the chops and tell me in her sweet voice; “the dog” then, rolls over. The dog indeed! This morning, there were only little taps. Was she trying to get my attention? A second set of little taps soon followed. “The DOG!” she growled. Ah! The dog!

When TLW is ailing, she loses her physical powers, but not her spousal obligation to make me sit up, roll over or beg. Fetching I learned from Mom.

As Rodney Dangerfield once said, or was it Henny Youngman: “She treats me like a king: Here king, here king!”

Please remember my pals Joan and DD, and all that need our prayers.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Yes! It is that special time of the year. A time when we hack like crazy and cough until our heads hurt, feeling tired all day. A time of joy filled tissue and hanky abuse! What am I talking about? A good old-fashioned head cold is what I’M talking about. A good old-fashioned head cold that starts in the back of your nose and stays in your head, and tours your body, including your chest. A cold that makes your bones or joints hurt, your eyes sensitive to light and you have no appetite!

Your body drags, but only your eyes and nose run! This time I have company. Instead of laughing at me, she sneezes at me. Who is she? TLW (The Little Woman), that’s who. As I sit in my misery, I can now look over to my right and watch TLW be just as miserable as me!

This morning I came down from my shower, got my coffee and there she was. Under her blanket, in her jammies and robe, looking forlorn.

“How ya feeling?” I inquired.

TLW: “Oh, I’m losing my voice!”

“You mean, I won’t be able to hear you?”

TLW: “You can’t hear me anyway.”

At least one day of no sarcasm!

Please remember my pals Joan and DD, and all that need our prayers.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


This is to all my readers, the people that read and on occasion comment or send e-mails to DelBloggolo.


A million dollars would not suffice in exchange for the thrill I get when someone is moved to comment. It is special to a writer, if you wish to call me that. I love to get them, and I love the fact that anyone would care to write.

As you know, I try to write everyday, and people say they are amazed by the discipline! When you have an outlet to express yourself, it isn’t hard. What is hard is NOT writing everyday.

I know that not everyone can agree with me, either in my manner or subject, let alone my opinion. Grammatically, it is all over the place, but it is not for sale, just for fun. I apologize for any errors, and for the occasional vulgarity that I may employ. There is no excuse for it, but if I don’t express it, it would not be me. If I make you laugh, GREAT! That is wonderful. If I make you cry, still great, because you are human.

I don’t wish to edit myself, because it would lose the spontaneity of it all. If I see a typo, or an idea that doesn’t come across, I will try to fix it.

How this came about was #1 Son’s fault, he inspired me. He is such a great word maven; I wish he would contribute occasionally. He has a lot to say, and is very talented. I guess he doesn’t want to upstage his old man, but I would love it. (I’m sure his old lady would too,)

But you the reader must take the credit. You have the patience to sit through it all and read. You are the reason I write. #1 AND #2 SONS, TLW, MFF (My Favorite Fan) Laura, is out there, and has been a great supporter and a friend. So has Steve Philp, another reader, who by the way has his own blog: Then there is Jim my buddy from Our Lady of Lourdes School in Brooklyn, ( Big sister Tess, little sisters: Fran, MaryAnn and Joanne all read and write back. Then there is MSF (My Special Fan) Nancy, who I discovered just a month ago. Then there is The Lovely Carole, my next-door neighbor, who always reading, and offering helpful suggestions. Lois, TLW’s twin, there is Jan Spaulding and Carole Sapienza, who read and on occasion send a note. And last, but certainly not least, there is my Irish and Sicilian Sister-in-laws. The transplanted Utican turned Virginian and Angela, who always takes TLW (The Little Woman’s) side, and Maureen. Maureen hails from Connecticut, but you would never know it, she is never there! ! Thanks y’all!


Please remember all those like Joan and DD, who need us to pray for them.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


A new mall was opened in mid October in Deer Park, Long Island. Just what we needed, another mall! But it didn’t officially open until TLW (The Little Woman) gave it a once over. As her official mall caddy, I accompanied her to the new shopping venue, and dutifully did what I was supposed to do, be quiet until lunchtime.

Coming off of Thursday November 13th’s blog; we entered a store that sold all kinds of kitchen gadgets and food items. There must have be at least 10 separate dips for me to “test” for your sake. Just to let you know, this research is ongoing.

Let me tell you, it was hard work, and I made sure to check each and every one of them out. Fortunately for you: I was very thorough in my findings.

After my research was complete, TLW started to have what I call an emotional event. She started to quietly sob and sniffle, wiping away a tear from the corner of her eye. SHE HAD SPOTTED THE DREADED ‘CHRISTMAS STORE’!

For some of you who may not know, the Christmas Store is a front for emptying out one’s wallet, with a Christmas motif. It sells everything there is, cheaply. Not much of it has to do with Christmas. It gets its name from the fact that when you exit the place under a heavy burden of plastic bags filled with stuff, instead of a ring or bell as you leave, it goes, “Ho-ho-ho.” That goodbye is really saying: “Goodbye to Christmas, you are too broke to spend money on anything, including Christmas. TLW, before exiting, ran into one of her work mates.

We did not only spend, we fantasized too. We went to Neiman Marcus, and as I looked at the prices, I thought that it would be neat if a TV camera caught me in the store, it would tell the world: “Wow, look where they shop.” It didn’t happen, but we did run into an old friend from our old neighborhood. Maybe she will spread the rumor.

Then we tried to find a place to have lunch, but no dice, not even chop, there was one lousy restaurant opened in the whole place!

The mall itself looked like a Disneyland with an Italianate twist. Arched buildings in colorful fronts, with Italian names for all the streets of this outdoor wonderland. There is a piazza at the main entrance with a fountain, and no cars. Plenty of parking and few opened restaurants, but a lot of shops for women. Husbands, when she announces she wants to go there, pull out a map, pencil it out for her, then run like a politician, lying about where you want to go, but get out quick!

Please remember my pals, Joan and DD and all those that need our prayers.

Friday, November 21, 2008


A few years ago on a holiday of some sort, I was at my lovely niece, Laurie-Ann, and her equally lovely husband Gerard’s house for dinner. They have a rascal of a son named Sean, AKA: the Vietnamese Snacker. Little Sean was about two to three years old, learning to walk, talk and making trouble.

Laurie had a dishtowel that she kept folded on the handle of her stove, and some how Sean was trying to fold it, and put it back in place. After several tries, he succeeded and announced; “I did it! I did it!”

Well this evening I can proudly borrow from Sean, and announce: “I did it! I did it!”

I finally got to fix the faucet in the kitchen.

I was watching a segment of the Dr. Phil Show, and he mentioned to one of the wayward husbands that the husband needed to set his moral compass. I looked at mine and it pointed to the kitchen sink.

Arising from the ashes of lunch with an old business associate, I burped and headed for my toolbox. (I didn’t want to end up on Dr. Phil, explaining why I have a leaky faucet,)

It was like taking the proverbial monkey off my back! Yes, indeed! I am now free to feel guilty about something else I need to do. I just have to keep doing it so I stay off the Dr. Phil Show!

Please remember my pals Joan and DD.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Today was not the best day of the week, or better put, it was a lousy day.

First, I got up this morning feeling all achy from a sinus congestion that is now growing into a full-blown cold! Twisting and turning all night, I couldn’t sleep, and when I got up this morning, I really didn’t want to even move. My head was like a sore tooth, my joints really hurt, and I’m coughing up garbage all day. I have a headache from the coughing, as I struggle to get my throat clear. I lungs feel like they are full.

Then I had to go to physical therapy for my right shoulder. That meant driving in the rush hour traffic, and being greeted by three cheerful ladies, at 8:15 AM! Of course there is strenuous exercises to do for an hour, with heat and cold pressure applied to the shoulder. There is a contraption that I use where I peddle with my hands for six minutes, three forward, and three backward. Mind numbing!

I had to look at this guy with bad toenails doing a golf ball under the feet, as he looked at his I-Pod.

As usual, TLW (The Little Woman), gave me instructions before she I left this morning. Change the batteries in the thermostat and fix the leaky faucet in the kitchen. So I discover I can’t get the thermostat cover off, and I’m afraid of breaking the plastic that covers it. OK, I’ll tackle it tomorrow when I feel better. I go down to the kitchen, and can’t find the screw that should be there on the base of the faucet. OK, I’ll tackle THAT tomorrow when I feel better.

TLW comes come. “Did you change the batteries for the thermostat?” (The beginnings of the inquisition).

“No” I respond, I’ll look at it tomorrow, can’t seem to get the darn thing off.”

“What about the sink? It’s still leaking!” She counters.

“Yes, I noticed that too. I can’t find the screw for the faucet. Tomorrow.”

I go sit in my chair in the den, as TLW comes down waving what should have been a hand grenade to throw at me. It was the thermostat and new batteries. OK, so she gets points for that. I go back to my chair, and guess what?

“Joe! Come in here.” More points! SHE found the screw on the faucet!

I was just feeling lousy all day. I still have a meeting to go to tonight that will last about 2 hours.

As soon as I quit coughing, I’ll quit complaining.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


drive it back again.

My ‘04 Hyundai, Sante Fe became ornery recently. It seems that it didn’t want to go as fast as I did. (Female model) If I stepped on the gas, it would hesitate, seemingly saying; “You sure you want to go there?”

Then it seemed to lose attention or interest, somewhat like it was depressed. I would feed it gas, and it would want to sleep, or just stop.

One thing I don’t like is a fickle car. I decided against my better instincts to take it to the Hyundai Dealership, that being Hustedt Hyundai. Their slogan is; “Hustedt Hyundai, yippee kyoo, kyiaa!” or something like that.

The big day came, I arrived about a half hour earlier so I could get in and out in no time. After they took the first five hundred people ahead of me, my turn came. Mr. Grasso Scimmia, the head mechanic came up to me and said: “Put da key in da door lock an take dis ticket to da gal in da service department.”

Reporting dutifully, Bertha Grande finally called my number and I stepped forward.

“What can I do for you?”

“My car don’t work! Sob, sniff, and it won’t listen to me.” I stated.

“We’ll have you back in the thick of things in no time, honey. Meanwhile leave it here with us, and you take a two-month vacation, that should cover the time we’ll need. By the way, did you get your timing belt changed? You know of course that it needs to be changed, and it is covered with our silent warrantee of 6 years or 45,000 miles. Wait a minute… you have 45,000.5 miles, sorry. This is a BIG job, should we work on it. It is very important.” Bertha Grande was starting to scowl as if I had taken her lunch.

“No” I said, waiting for the cops to come to take me away to a prison in Korea for negligent Hyundai owners.

“OK, but YOU NEED TO HAVE IT FIXED!” said Bertha Grande

That afternoon Bertha Grande calls, “Ya kar is ready! We had to replace the sensors, and that is covered by the warranty. Do you know the transmission fuel and something else needs to be changed? Do you want to have us change it?”

“OK” say I.

“OK, it will come to $209, before tax.”

I pick up the car, and the next day, drive it. It starts to act up again. Only worse than before!

I go back to the dealership, and state…

“My car don’t work! Sob, sniff, and it won’t listen to me.” I stated.

“Are you SURE!!??”

“Oh yes, I think it is psychotic! Has bouts of depression, is lethargic and sometimes will consume a lot of gas. Just like before, only worse.” I look at her pleadingly.

“Yo, Grasso, dis fellow here needs some help dere. Run a scan on ‘em, see what ya can.” Turning to me she says, would ya like a car fur now?”

“Yes! Yes, that would be nice.”

Please remember my buddies Joan and DD.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


A long time ago, in Brooklyn New York, Mom left the house, and a few days later returned with somebody else. She had done that once before, and frankly, it was kind of scary.

All day, all night, Mary Ann
Down by the seaside siftin' sand
Even little children love Mary Ann
Down by the seaside siftin' sand.

When she left, it was a cold November 18th, and I had to go to school. My sister Frances, upset about Mom leaving her, ran under a stool, and refused to come out! Mom left my aunt in charge, as she and Dad descended the stairs and left us. When he got home, that afternoon, he announced that we now had a new baby sister. My sister Theresa thought: “Great, another one I have to watch!” I thought: “Great, down the pecking order another notch!” And my sister Fran thought: “Great, I’m stuck under this stool!”

Mary Ann, Oh, Mary Ann
Oh, won't you marry me?
We can have a bamboo hut
With brandy in the tea
Leave your fat old mama home
(sorry Mom, it’s in the lyrics!)
She never will say yes
If your mama don't know now
She can guess (it's in the mail now!)

Mary Ann was Mom’s favorite. SHE, had naturally curly hair. SHE was named ‘Mary’ after my Mom’s Mom! I was really out of luck now!

All day, all night, Mary Ann
Down by the seaside siftin' sand
Even little children love Mary Ann
Down by the seaside siftin' sand.

Mom planted a bassinette between the kitchen and dining room, right in front of the refrigerator. So, whenever MaryAnn (who was Mom’s favorite) cried, Mom got her milk, ASAP. This also kept me from the refrigerator. If I moved the bassinette, Mary Ann (who was Mom’s favorite) would cry.

When she walks along the shore
People pause to greet
White birds fly around her
Little fish come to her feet
In her heart is love
But I'm the only mortal man
Who's allowed to eat after
My Mary Ann(Everybody!)

Well, Mary Ann (who was Mom’s favorite), grew to be a fine woman and mother. She raised two beautiful and wonderful people. Her kids make us all proud. They love their Mom and she loves them.

All day, all night, Mary Ann
Down by the seaside siftin' sand
Even little children love Mary Ann
Down by the seaside siftin' sand.

There was some sadness a few years ago. Carl, Mary Ann’s (who was Mom’s favorite) husband, passed on, and the kids, while in college wanted to quit and help her out financially. She would have nothing to do with that. “You stay in school” she admonished them. They in turn, paid back her faith in them, and more.

And when we marry, we will have
A time you never saw
I will be so happy
I will kiss my mother-in-law (Phooey!)
Children by the dozen
In and out the bamboo hut
One for every palm tree
And cocunut (Don't rush me!)

Mary Ann (who was Mom’s favorite) decided one day that she would make a new life for herself. She would sell her home and move south, start out fresh. She became an airline stewardess and fly around the country, like a bird, free and happy.

All day, all night, Mary Ann
Down by the seaside siftin' sand
Even little children love Mary Ann
Down by the seaside siftin' sand.
Down by the seaside siftin' sand...

Today is Mary Ann’s (who was Mom’s favorite) birthday! Whenever I hear that song by Harry Belafonte, ‘Mary Ann’, I think of her. It came out around her birthday.



Please remember my pals Joan and DD.


Monday, November 17, 2008


There is a lady I know. She is small of stature and but big of self-respect. I’ve known her a great many years now, at least 12, and she is a part of the family.

I met her through my volunteerism: a resident of the Dix Hills Independent Residential Alternative, Yes, she is developmentally challenged. She is now in her middle eighties, and is fading fast. Once she was an independent willful woman, now she is dependant on others to live her life. If you look in her eyes, they will tell you how much she detests being dependant on others.

When I first met Jenny, she could walk somewhat, and used a walker. TLW (The Little Woman) took her under her wing as a ‘Special Friend’ in a program TLW heads; we got to know each other. TLW would take her out for Carvel Ice Cream or a Shrimp dinner. Jenny calls it “schrimpies”. Jenny has a sarcastic, acerbic and sometimes mean tongue. She doesn’t like people doing for her; she wants to be entertained and amused. She loves going places, and out of her residence. She takes great pride in doing for herself! She knits or crochets covers for wooden hangers, and sells them to whomever she meets. She is the embodiment of the human spirit. Just don’t get in her way!

Lately jenny is starting to fade. Once she almost convinced me that she owned a driver’s license, when in actuality it was only an ID made by the DMV! When we visit, she will not tolerate others taking up our time. She would chase the interloper away with the wag of her tongue. She had a brother ‘Joey’ who would call her from California, send her cards and presents.

Then one day, Joey passed on. When Joey died, a little bit of Jenny died too. She contacted cancer, and now suffers from dementia. To add to her misery, she can no longer get around without a wheel chair.

Today TLW and me decided to visit he in her home. She seemed confused, as we gave her a bag of Carvel Ice Cream, but when she saw me, she smiled and said: “Joe!” She remembered me! Me! She once told me I was too fat, that I “Need to walk around the block, ALL around the block”. I laughed so hard I forget to get insulted. Once she refused a piece of cake stating: “I need to keep my girlish figure.”

She hates macaroni, because her home serves it often. So, I promised her for Christmas, I would buy her a box of macaroni. If she knew swear words, she probably would have used them on me that day!

Today, she seemed to drift away; She looked at us, without knowing, without caring. She remembers a lot, yet a lot she is forgetting. How sad! A woman, who was dealt a lousy rotten blow, now has it even harder. I wonder what she ever did to deserve her fate in her final days?

Please remember my pals Joan and DD. Thanks

Sunday, November 16, 2008


It was the fall of 1940, the 1939 World’s Fair was over and the WWII hadn’t begun yet. Two people, ordinary in their own way, Anthony and Olympia, joined hands and became man and wife. It was the beginning of something big.

Sixty-eight years later, we reflect of what it all meant, and how it affects their world at large. From the humble beginnings of marriage came a large family and friends, traditions and both triumph and tragedy. Life could not be complete without both.

Back in 1940, college was unheard of. Many people aspired to a high school diploma, some just to graduate elementary school, before going to work, in some factory to help the family make ends meet. That was the culture of 1940, for the ordinary people.

Neighborhoods were cells of ethnicity, and two languages. One language was where you came from, one where you were going. You learned English for your children’s sake. Their future depended on it. There were no dual language signs. Force feeding, the best way, was how one learned English.

Anthony (Tony) and Olympia (Lena) raised five children. Along the way, they also took from their pasts and blended it with their children’s futures and made new traditions. These traditions have held the family together for sixty-six years.

Just like every family, children have dreams of their own, and so did Tony and Lena’s kids. High school graduation was a stepping-stone for some of them, college an ultimate goal. We saw our parents, uncles and cousins and measured our progress by what they accomplished. But we weren’t content to merely participate in our own growth. We handed the baton on to our children, and they are handing it on to theirs.

Along the way, we expanded our Americanism. We incorporated multi-cultural influences, and made them our American way. We enjoy pepperoni, soda bread, sushi, or kielbasa, each is good, our real preferences are the people that we call family, not the traditions.

Today a Del Broccolo, or a Harrow, a Bogdan or a Dzicek, a Ruvolo or a Uyeno, and a Manning, is a family name. The family grew to O’Hara, Currier, Schneider and Carrillo, all meaning the same: Family. This year we added newer names. More families are evolving out of the simple act: that occurred on this day, in 1940.

If Grandpa Del Broccolo was alive today, he would be most proud.

To all my family and friends, and readers alike, I love you all. Thanks for being there.

Please remember Joan and DD.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I know I’ve wailed about this before, but I came upon something that I find interesting, and hope you do too, the use of words that irritate me.

I am constantly hearing words and phrases that people hear and use as their own. Words from TV, movies and radio, and yes, even the Internet. They may seem clever the first time, but when everyone constantly uses them, they no longer sound clever.

Researchers compiled a list that monitors the use of phrases into a database called the Oxford University Corpus, which comprises books, papers, magazines, broadcast, the Internet and other sources.

The phrases appear in a book called Damp Squid, named after the mistake of confusing a squid with a squib, a type of firework.

This database alerts them to new words and phrases and can tell them which expressions are no longer being used as much. It also shows how words are being misused.

Jeremy Butterfield says that many annoyingly over-used expressions actually began as office lingo, such as 24/7 and "synergy". How true that is!

Phrases such as "literally" and "ironically", irritate people when they are used out of context.

Here is the list they compiled.

The top ten most irritating phrases:
1 - At the end of the day
2 - unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time
5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/7
10 - It's not rocket science

I could add a few.

The top ten most irritating phrases and words compiled by the staff at DelBloggolo. (Big deal!)

1 - Irregardless
2 - You’d think
3 - Oh… My… God!
4 - Whole nine yards
5 - The whole ball of wax
6 - Duh!
7 - Give me a break
8 - For crying out loud
9 - The whole dichotomy of it
10 - Some such

Now I know I use some of these words occasionally. We all do. This doesn’t mean I find us annoying, just lacking sometimes in creativity in expressing ourselves.

I can remember a writer where I worked that took every phrase the boss used, and would incorporate it into her lingo. We all do something of the kind.

Please take a moment for Joan and DD, two people who could use your prayers.

Thank you for reading my ramblings today.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Happy birthday to you…

From Maine to California, DelBloggolo readers are celebrating! What are they celebrating? Why someone special has a birthday. MFF (My Favorite Fan) Laura turns another year on her calendar. I promise, no one will notice she is older, but just as beautiful as ever.

Happy birthday to you…

I have the good fortune of knowing someone special. MFF is a lot like the place she lives in, always sunny. I met MFF in LA, while staying with #1 Son, last year. Her smile, demeanor and charm make any day, no matter how badly it might start. She is a tonic for what might ail one.

Happy birthday dear MFF…

So, to MFF. May today be the best yet. May every year here after get better and all your dreams be fulfilled. May God keep you in the palm of his hand and bless you and everything you do.

Happy birthday to you!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


When I go out to eat, I always try to be judicious in my selections. I generally go to lunch at the food court in the mall or Costco. No I don’t buy food, I said I am judicious.
What I do is sample. You can sample anything from chicken and beef to shrimp and lobster. French pastries to American cookies, along with all kinds of snacks and drinks are available to sample.

To properly sample, one MUST dress correctly. This means wearing a hat with a peak. This allows one to sample an item three times. Once with a hat, once with the hat backwards, and once hatless!

Sometimes I take two if TLW (The Little Woman) is with me, and hope she doesn’t want any.

These expeditions to sample cover the cost of the day’s outing’s lunch. Not having to pay for it, tip, or even make my own then clean up is a wonderful thing! You might think I’m being cheap, but I perform a public service.

Let me ask you a rhetorical question. If I were to sample a dip, and let’s say I swallowed it and dropped dead, would you buy the product? Of course not. Please, don’t thank me; I do it because someone has to.

My only problem with sampling is the Clorox samples, they just taste horrible.

Please remember my pals, Joan and Anita.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


TLW (The Little Woman) and I share the same medical group of doctors. Hers is a Philoppino named Melendez, and I have a nice Jewish doctor named Howeritz. I love my doctor in a medical way, and she loves hers the same.

Every three months, we go to the doctors for our quarterly checkups, and they are scheduled around the same time, hers is usually a few days behind mine.

This month they were on the same day, and I had to cancel my originally appointment with Dr. Howeritz and reschedule it later in the day with Dr. Melendez.

TLW went first at 2:oo pm, then I went at 4:15 pm. Being how we went to the same doctor in the one day, we compared notes. We also gave blood for the lab, or were supposed to. TLW didn’t because e the doctor couldn’t find her veins!

When Dr. Howeritz takes blood, a tiny dot lasts for an hour, maybe, and then it disappears. Today Dr Melendez took the blood.

Massacre! It was Custer’s last Stand, all over again! Blood all over the place, my arm reduced to a bloody pulp!

That evening, TLW and I were discussing Dr. Melendez.

“I like Dr. Melendez.” She said.

“I do too, but I like Howeritz better. He knows how to take blood.”

“Oh! Do you? Why?”

“Because Dr. Howeritz doesn’t take blood with a machete, he uses needles.” I responded.

“Well I think we should have separate doctors. We don’t agree on everything, and besides, I think that is private.” She answered back.

“Come on, he couldn’t even find any blood in you, so he sends you to a lab to get it. I never have to leave the office!”

The moral boys and girls is: If you are going to fight, fight over real blood.

Please remember my pals, Joan and DD.

Monday, November 10, 2008


The nurse called me the other day from the orthopedic surgeons office to inform me that they got the results of the MRI.

“You have a partial tear of the ^%$#*&% muscle and tendonitis of the right shoulder. You need to come in to meet with the doctor.”

Of course, this leaves me in a quandary. A quandary is a state of uncertainty as to what to do. Like any state, it is taxing my patience. I don’t want this to linger too long. I want to resolve the matter ASAP. I fear if they say I need some kind of surgery, I have to prolong the period of inactivity. If I use a physical therapist, how long before that helps?

I hate going to doctors, they take a lot of my personal time and cause me to do what I don’t like to do. Tomorrow I’ll find out what will be.

In the late afternoon, I go to my regular doctor for my quarterly checkup. This is for the usual blood test then prescription renewals I need. More waiting in waiting and examining rooms!

Do I sound like I’m complaining? I say: “SHUT UP YOU BIG BABY!” There, someone needed to say it.

Well I went to the doctor and he is recommending SIX WEEKS OF physical therapy!

Please remember my pal Joan and DD.

Thanks for listening.


The Annual Candlelight Ball for AHRC Suffolk was well attended. The crowds were well dressed, some in elegant gowns and tuxedoes, poised to have a grand time! The location was Momma Lombardi’s in Holbrook, a catering hall that looks like Caesar’s Palace. The food was extraordinary, and too much.

Under my arm was the very attractive TLW (The Little Woman) who I bring with me when I want to fool people into thinking I have a little class. Like the occasion, she was her stunning self. By stunning, I mean people see her and are stunned by whom she’s with!

We were seated with the President of the Agency and his lovely wife, Fred and Dottie Salzburg, Ex-President Ken Walker and his lovely wife, the Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, William Lindsay and his lovely wife Pat, a member of the agency Board of Directors, and Legislator Lynn Nowick of the 13th Legislative District, and her escort.

The music was fabulous, and everybody danced, including yours truly. But the high light of the evening was the recognition of one of the truly great dames of the Agency, the head of the Community Affairs department for over 25 years. Eileen Fleischer. Eileen and her husband Bernie are retiring to Florida in January. Eileen recommended me to the Board when I went to the agency to volunteer one day about 20 years ago.

Eileen has worked tirelessly, giving of herself, and doing more good to the agency than anyone, I can remember with maybe the exception of our Executive Director, Joe Mammolito.

I will miss her; she IS what staff is all about in the agency. I personally love the staff, because they are inspiration for me, when I lose all trust in humanity, I often think of them, and trust is restored. Eileen is the epitome of class, hard work and devotion. We at the agency are all very proud of her achievements and we parents could never possibly thank her enough. It is not the brick and mortar that she helps: but the flesh and blood.

Thanks, Eileen.
Joe, TLW Del Bloggolo, and Ellen Del Broccolo at Shoreham II, all those who you have served so well these many years!

Please remember Joan and DD in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


It seemed like my arms were about to fall off ! Every day, Count Dracular would come and draw some blood, leaving my one arm filled with ugly bumps and blotches, as they tested my blood. No one was so sure as to what it could be. The fever and aching were still there, and nothing seemed right,

One night, Dad comes to visit. Dad was skittish! Once Dad fainted in a dentist chair, and Mom called me to come and get him! It was about a half hour after they did a bone marrow extraction from my chest. The technician sprayed a red dye on my chest, stuck a needle in and then a tube. Putting a needle in the tube, they extracted the marrow. They put a mirror up so I could watch the procedure, asking if I wanted to see it. Dad entered by himself and asked how I was doing. I told him good and then he spots the red dye on my chest, thinking it is blood! He backs into a chair in the corner of the room, opposite my bed.

“What the hell happened?” Dad was nearly unconscious when he asked.

“Oh, this? It’s nothing, just a dye they sprayed on me.”

Summoning up the courage, he asks: “Why?” as he rises and comes to the bed, felling a little better, color coming back to his face.

“Oh, they needed some bone marrow, so they stuck a tube in my chest and with a needle extracted some bone marrow!” I answered nonchalantly.”

Immediately he retreats to the chair! Sitting there he says: “Quit fooling around and answer me!”

I assure him that my story is true. He looks around and spots the mirror that was hanging over the bed.

“What is that mirror for? Your makeup?”

“No, so I could watch them take out the marrow.”

Back into the chair he goes. White as he sheet, he looks at me and says: “Cheez, you let them do that to you?”

If Dracular wasn’t enough, the hospital was constantly sending me for tests and x-rays of all kinds. One Friday morning, as I lay on a table for a kidney scan, my doctor popped his head into the room and said I was getting a liver biopsy the next day!

“We stick a needle in your liver and pop out a piece.”

At this point, I could care less. Take whatever you need, but kill me first, was what I wanted.

The next morning, TLW is standing at the bed.

“Good news! You are being released today! The doctor said you can go home, you’ll be fine!”

“What happened, I feel lousy?”

Then she related a most amazing story. It seems my doctor had a brother who practiced out of one of the large hospitals in NYC. HE, had the same thing! Only weeks before, he was finally over it, and my doctor played his hunch, compared the medical side of things with his brother and they both came to the same conclusion! I had what my doctor’s brother had!

Hey, everybody.

Good news! The latest Mountain Man Academy video is up on It's called "NPR Dancers" and it's directed by Matt Walsh (of "The Upright Citizen's Brigade" on Comedy Central).

You should check it out. The more people who watch it, the more likely the Upright Citizen's Brigade will shoot another video of the group. My good pal Peter Dirksen is init. F-U-N-N-Y.

Here is the link:

Please remember my pals Joan and DD in your prayers.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


It was 1975, and a Saturday morning in July, I drove over to a local park to play with my two small kids. #1 Son and my daughter Ellen sat on the swings as I gently pushed them. The late morning was pleasant, overcast but unusually dry for July.

As I stood behind the kid’s swings, a sudden feeling like something hitting me in the back of the head occurred. I suddenly felt feverish and achy. I took the kids home and called my doctor’s office. They had an opening that afternoon although my regular doctor was away.

Meeting the doctor after he checked me out, said I had a modular infection. Something was wrong in the chest cavity. He suggested I go for blood test, and wait for the results.

When the results came back, they indicated I had what could be leukemia, and into the hospital, I went. I remember the process of meeting the doctors that would attend my case and they asking me if I was on drugs of any kind. It seemed blood test after blood test revealed odd happenings and the fever was getting worse as was the headaches. I was feeling bad and wished I would die. The week ended and it was Easter Sunday. All my relatives came to the hospital to visit. TLW (The Little Woman) would come every day that she could, but with two little toddlers, it was hard. On the days she couldn’t come, she called. I felt bad that I didn’t even want to answer the phone. If I knew it wasn’t TLW, I didn’t answer the phone.

One of the things that TLW warned me about was getting an enema. I had been in the hospital a few days, and felt confident it wouldn’t happen. My confidence was premature. One day, two middle-aged nurses came in with the enema bag on a trolley of some kind.

“Now when we are done here, you all go into dat dere toilet dere, and have yo’self a blast.”

Up I jump and into the toilet, I go. And I mean ‘go’! As I am sitting there doing serious business, I start to break out in hysterics, laughing so hard, I had to hold onto the wall and keep from slipping off! Her words had finally resonated with me.

Not everything was so funny. One sunny morning TLW called and said she was coming with the kids, but would have to stand under my second floor window for me to see them.
#1 Son was a blonde and a chatterbox in those days. His older sister stood quietly by as TLW got them to look up. I called down and #1 Son started to tell me something, which I can’t recall for some reason, but I remember my daughter getting excited to hear me. Thinking I was dieing, (because why else would TLW bring the kids?) I went into the toilet, closed the door and cried my eyes out, thinking I might not ever see them again!


Please remember my pal Joan in your prayers.

There’s another little gal, Her name is Diandra... but everyone calls her "DD" about 18 years of age who I know who is fighting the tough fight too. She needs all our prayers and hopes for a recovery. Her Mom is a lovely loving and generous person, who is a dear friend of the family. I happened to see them on the elevator one day in a medical building for Oncology Medicine.

Friday, November 07, 2008


I was watching TV this morning, and a commercial came on. A woman was holding a phone at yelling into the next room. “DOES THAT THING HAVE TO BE SO LOUD?”
It brought back a flood of memories.

Of course the yelling part for sure reminded me of Mom, but the phrase: “DOES THAT THING HAVE TO BE SO LOUD?” even more so.

Mom went to the Mother’s School of Phrase, a non-denominational women only school to help herself in raising her children with clear and undeniable communication.

In her, “DOES THAT THING HAVE TO BE SO LOUD?” ‘That thing’ meant the TV.

She uttered other lines in consistant fashion. Lines that I started to use with my kids.

“What am I related to the lighting company?” This meant, shut some of the lights off.
“What am I made of money?” Simple yet direct, meaning: “Get the hell out of here, I’m broke.”
“You’re using a whole pound of butter?” If you could see the butter on your toast, you are using too much.
One of my favorites: “Wait ‘til your father gets home.” Discipline was now beyond her ability.
“If I get my hands on you!” meaning, don’t come near me for half an hour.
“Go to school, you’ll be fine.” It didn’t matter if I WAS bleeding profusely from the mouth, ears and chest.

But the scariest of them all, was when she wished evil upon me: “WAIT, until YOU have kids!”

Please remember my pals, Joan and DD.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Take a breath. Sit back and relax. Think of nothing. The election is over. No more politics, promises, speeches and ads. One man won, one man lost. Let’s get over it and move on.

I think that Obama winning will have some good effects on America. We will no longer have to live with discrimination as a factor toward the black man. America didn’t respond that way. I think the majority of McCain supporters voted for whom they thought was the best man, not the white man. In all fairness, the black man voted for not Obama but blacks. The blacks were given an opportunity to grow and prosper as white people do. I’m not surprised, and I think we should congratulate them for doing so. We all have to give light to one another. They have worked hard and suffered for just such a day. It was a day for America to stand in the sunlight and be respected for who we are as a people.

One of the pictures that is vivid and always comes alive in my historical remembrances is one of 9/11. Running for their lives after being attached, by outsiders, ash covered people hurried in fear away from the building called the World Trade Center. I was appalled that they had to flee from attack in their own country. They were Americans. Small, tall, man and woman, black and white, they were all Americans. They were my fellow Americans, and I felt nothing but anger.

Now that President-elect Obama has done a remarkable and truly historical job of winning, he has opened the door for all minorities to join in. Some day soon, a woman will be president, and rightfully so. I think that a woman would be great for America. It would probably make us compassionate as a nation. I have worked for woman, as bosses and clients, they are just as smart as men, and deserve respect. Just think of your mothers and wives or sisters.

As for Senator McCain, he was a victim of the times. He is a good, honorable American man, who ran a courageous and vigorous campaign. He deserved to be President. He was able to, and earned all our respect for his senatorial service, and for his fortitude and courage in the face of the North Vietnamese scum that ran the Hanoi Hilton. Thanks, Senator. We were lucky this time. We have too great men who will I’m sure make America proud.

Please remember my pal Joan.
I got good news today, my pal Anita is going to win! Thanks for your prayers; she is a great gal! Now work your magic for Joan, another great gal.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I often hear about people that go through the MRI process, but never thought about what it is like. Well, I found out today.

I went into the office, and got the customary forms to fill out, and dutifully filled them. Then the lovely young lady came and collected me (all my parts) and took me into the back area.

“Go in here, take off all your clothes, and except your underwear, wear this gown and put everything in that locker over there, and then take the key and wait over there.”

“Can I leave on my socks?”


I do everything she says, but when it comes to the gown I run into my first problem. Does the tie go in the front or like a hospital gown in the back? I opt for the back and head out to the waiting area. Everyone wearing a gown has the tie in the front! Of course.

This very nice gentleman comes over and shakes my hand and leads me to the promise land, where we set up for the MRI. The machine looms next to me as I sit on the bed. A plastic device is put on my shoulder and I lay a certain way. The gentleman is helping me relax and it is like when you can’t fall asleep, you take your pillow, tuck it under your knees or legs, or under your arm and finally he is ready.

Suddenly as I am laying there, he gives me this blue ball and says; “If you need me, just squeeze the ball, and I will come!” “Great!” I’m thinking, room service. Then I know why he said that! As I roll into the MREI tube, a sick and desperate feeling of claustrophobia hits me! The walls of the MRI scanner are round, and run practically to your nose. It is a bad feeling. I lay still and fight the urge to panic. I think; “If so and so did it, so will I. I will tough this out, no matter what, no wussyness for me.”

I get a set of earphones so the technician can communicate with me. “Are you OK, Joseph?” ask the gentleman. “Yes is all I can say.” I want to say; “GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE, NOW, AND QUICKLY1” But I reserve that for when I think I will really need it. I think nostalgic thoughts, of days gone by and funny instances that have happened. They all turn to horror stories that I imagine the technician telling TLW (The Little Woman) happened. Although they are funny, (how I died in the tube) I can’t seem to chuckle.

For the next 20 minutes or so, I hear these strange noises, motor like and electronic sounds. It is a noisy place to suffocate in. The sounds repeat themselves, and I wonder if the technician went out to coffee.

Finally, it abruptly ends, and I see daylight once again! My life was spared!

“Sit up, are you OK? Can you walk to the waiting room?”

“Piece of cake” I lied.

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita with a little prayer.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


This comes from two nice people I know. Seth and JoeEllen Smith, proud grandparents for the first time. This is a serious email, and I thought I should pass it on. Thanks to the Smiths.

I checked it out on is true.

We actually received a call last week from an 809 area code. A woman said 'Hey, this is Karen. Sorry I missed you--get back to us quickly. I have something important to tell you. Then she repeated a phone number beginning with 809. We didn't respond.

Then this week, we received the following e-mail:
Subject: DON'T DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284 AND 876.


This one is being distributed all over the US. This is scary, especially given the way they try to get you to call. ?

Be sure you read this and pass it on.
They get you to call by telling you that it is information about a family member who has been ill or to tell you someone has-been arrested, died, or to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc.
In each case, you are told to call the 809 number right away. Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return these calls.

If you call from the US, you will apparently be charged $2425 per-minute. Or, you'll get a long recorded message. The point is they will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill, you'll often be charged more than $24,100.00!


The 809 area code is located in the Dominican Republic, and is not regulated by the US laws. The charges afterwards can become a real nightmare.
That's because you did actually make the call. If you complain, both your local phone company and your long distance carrier will not want to get involved and will most likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign company. You'll end up dealing with a foreign company that argues they have done nothing wrong.

Please forward.

Please remember my good pals Joan and Anita.

Monday, November 03, 2008


It seems that whenever I go to a doctor's office I have to answer the same questions repeatedly.

Entering the Orthopedic Surgeons office, I immediately sense the trouble is about to begin. The clipboard is looming on the counter edge.

“Have you been a patient here before?”

I think “Ah good! I won't have to fill the clipboard out!”

Smartly I answer; “Yes!”

“Okay, just fill this out, the first page I need immediately, the rest of the tome after you fill out page one.”

Dejected I return to my seat and start the process. There is always a question or two that they ask for which I don't know the answer.

“Your primary care physician's mother's maiden name.”
“Where does she live”?
“Her girdle size.”

You get the picture?


The young lady in the examining room asks:

“Why are you here?”

“Your primary care physician's mother's maiden name.”
“Where does she live”?
“Her girdle size.”

You get the picture?


Okay, they want to be thorough, so I accommodate them once more.

“The Doctor will be with you shortly.”

I wait, and wait some more. After waiting, I wait for another wait then Sonny enters.

Part of the paper work I just filed out asks me why I'm there. (Actually to fill out paper work and give clerks a job.)

“Why I are you here?”

I tell him. He reads along while I relate why I'm here.

“Okay, let's have a look.
Does this hurt?”


“How about this?”


“And this/”


“Hummm, I thought it might. I wonder what it is? Have you seen a doctor about this? Tell you what, let's get some x-rays.”

“Let's” he says. As in; 'you and me.' I wonder who will go first.

I am led to the x-ray cave. A gentleman climbs out and says: Okay, come with me.

“Your primary care physician's mother's maiden name.”
“Where does she live”?
“Her girdle size.”

You get the picture?


The x-ray guy say stands me against the wall.

“Okay stand facing me, your arm straight out, palm facing out.”

RRRRRRRR goes the camera.

“Okay stand facing me, your arm straight out, palm facing in.”

RRRRRRRR goes the camera.

“Now, face side ways, your eyes facing the other way, standing on your head, palms facing upward, and index finger in your nose.”

And so the many conditions are met, the pain shooting through my arm.

“Okay, meet the doctor in his office.”

Off I go, through the labyrinth of offices.

The doctor speaks: “Well the good news is it's not enough arthritis to give you the pain! Now I need to get you an MRI, but since your chest is wired, we may not be able to. Did I tell you about the guy who had just a tiny bit of metal in him during an MRI? The fire extinguisher flew off the wall and hit him in the head!”

I suddenly become very interested.

“No Doctor, you didn't!”

“Maybe we will inject a die in you and see where it leaks instead.”

Yeah, and maybe we can take out a kidney or two and make kidney pie.

“Tell you what, call the MRI place and ask them if you are Okay to have an MRI while you have the metal wire in your chest. It just might be Okay, after all, It has been five years. Let me know.”

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita. Thanks.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


This comes from my pal Jane Spaulding of PCH. Jan, along with Carole Sapienza was one of the two wonderful ladies that gave me the business when we worked together. It comes in the form of an email. I found it very educational! I love these gals, so pay attention.

Subject: What's in a Gauge

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by, the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, using that gauge.

Why did 'they' use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So, who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore, the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.

So, the next time you are handed a Specification/Procedure/Process and wonder 'What horse's ass came up with it?' you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two warhorses. (Two horses' Asses.) Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRB's. Thiokol at their factory in Utah makes the SRB’s. The engineers who designed the SRB's would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRB's had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRB's had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what are arguably the worlds most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important?

Ancient horses assess control almost everything... and CURRENT Horses Asses are controlling everything else. Politicians!

Thanks Jan, you’re the best!

Please remember my pals, Joan and Anita.