Thursday, September 30, 2010


Sometimes you see a TV show and know it is entertainment, and sometimes you see real life, your life, all over again. I’m talking about the TV series Mad Men, which depicts Madison Avenue in the late 60’s or early 70’s! It is in many cases real life true to the core life in the advertising world, as I knew it.

Some of it is excessive, the drinking wasn’t that often, but it was there. Everybody lit up; affairs were going on in the broom closets and under the desks just like they are in the show. I was a young cub designer then, learning my craft, and the business of advertising. It seemed people were constantly selling sometimes, and usually it was themselves, both creatively and physically.

I recall one vice president, a brother-in-law of the owner of the company, asleep at his desk after lunch, an empty vodka glass drained moments before. This was after a 3 or 4-hour lunch, mostly liquid!

There was an innocence connected to it all, in spite of the goings on that occurred. The young people like myself were too busy trying to make an impression, learn and deal with this aggressive and exciting world. Making a presentation for the first time was scary, speaking before a room filled with seasoned pros was heart stopping, especially as you gauged their reaction to what you just presented. I was often awed and overcome by meeting people like the Postmaster General of the US, or Alexis Smith, or Ava Gabor!

It was the best of times professionally, people expected you to make mistakes, and if you didn’t, you weren’t learning and taking chances. Those are two ingredients one needs too succeed in that business.

Of course lunch was very important. You had to have business lunches, they were important mainstays in the finally deal, or the promise of more challenges from a client. Working with the big names in American industry floored me. Here I was a kid from a small town on Long Island working high up in a corner office, sitting over looking all of Manhattan, doing something I love, and being paid for it! Then going to lunch and watching and learning how to structure an agreement with American Airlines, Ford, the Postal Service, or Lufthansa Airlines! Fancy restaurants, fancy people, dressed in a suit, and thinking: “If my friends could see me now!”

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I hate bad attitudes. Especially when they come from people that should be helping me.

It seems that I have prescription problems with doctors and pharmacies. They never get it right, and I usually am without medications for a few days. This makes me wonder how good the systems are working.

I’m supposed to get a 30-day supply of each medication, and two renewals. What I get is: “Too early to renew” and “You need a doctor’s prescription for a refill.”

I pick up the phone and call the doctor’s office. I explain and get an attitude. One of impatience, and one I wouldn’t tolerate from anyone. I explain to her that I just want to straighten out my medications, and she continues her attitude! I explode, and inform her that I don’t like her attitude, her tone, and to get this situation taken care of. She responds pleasantly and says she will take care of it with the pharmacy.

The doctor’s office gets back to me and says she took care of it. I thank her very pleasantly, and go off to the pharmacy.

There he stands, behind the counter, he should be wearing a big red nose, funny hair and large shoes with big red spots on his cheeks.

Bozo: “Can I help you?” He asks me this under a sign that says ‘Pick up prescriptions here.’

“Yes, I’m here to pick up two prescriptions. Name is Del Bloggolo, Joseph”

Checking his computer he tells me they were ready days ago.

“Why didn’t you give me these days ago, then?

Bozo: “Oh, the computer must have been down!”

“I’m here to pick up #2 Son’s prescription, also.”

Bozo: “Sorry, the computer says you can’t have it!”

I start to fume. “Waddayamean I can’t have it?”

Turning the screen towards me he says: “See, if you want it you have to pay cash, the insurance company won’t pay for it until it is time.”

“When is time?”

Bozo: “Today! It will be ready in an hour.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The routine will be similar, except now he has to watch the clock, and if she calls he is bound by marriage to answer the phone. If she wants him home immediately, if not sooner, he gets on his horse and rides out.
The vows are completed, the dancing and celebrating, and the honeymoon is over. The boy (The macaroni man) is now a man, and like all of us married men, has surrendered his manhood to doing the dishes and cleaning up! So, he seeks a heaven from the chores and duty of marriage, and returns once again, to torturing himself by watching the Mets and Jets with another tortured individual, me!
But while he is watching the game, we will commiserate as to why they stink (Take your pick) and why they should all be fired and shipped out to the minors or a semi-pro team. Before the game even starts, the sense of doom will prevail, with tears at the cusps of our eyelids.

TLW (The Little Woman) will shake her head in wonderment that two grown men would follow such losers, and the old guy in particular should know by now! The lives we have ruined are not only our own, but our offspring, and future generations to come.

Therapy is an option, but we keep hoping against hope, that things will someday turn around, that there will be interest in October, because the Mets are in the playoffs, and the Jets are winning, not losing already.

TLW has counted all my medications, knows how many pills should be in the bottle at a certain date, and if any are missing, that I am attempting to kill myself with over dosage!

But he will have dinner with us, cry with me, and so it will go for another year.

J-E-T-S suck suck suck!

Let’s go Mets, far away already!

Monday, September 27, 2010


It is amazing how we look at things with a bias! I for one when I make up my mind, tend to stick with how I feel. It usually takes a lot to change my mind, and I think most people feel the same way.

There is a pretty good show on TV about a school of music, and how the kids interact with one another, and a good deal is with the young people performing, singing and dancing, and some really great acting!

The music, if I heard it on the radio, would turn me off, yet watching these kids perform, taking the “Worst” music in my opinion, and putting it into their genre, leaves me enthralled. I guess I always liked singing and dancing, to hear a piece of music put to dance, is an art that fascinates me, gives me great pleasure, and leaves me happy for a long time. I suspect that is why #2 Son is always giving me a song and dance when I ask questions. ONLY KIDDING, MIKE!

I know this show is not for everyone, but if you enjoy performances, with great dancing and interesting interpretations of today’s so-called music, then try it once, just to see what I mean. There is an awful lot of talent out there, good talent, that should make you very happy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


It really does! I was looking at an old TV show and the people on it were the usual cast of characters that populated the daytime and nighttime TV shows of the 1960’s. They were the main stays that filled the roles that completed the TV shows, making them possible. They weren’t stars in themselves, you didn’t know their names, but they were recognizable.

It made me realize, I am getting old! These people are no longer alive, and if by chance they are, too old to even move!

I remember when a ’57 Chevy was commonplace, when I worried about my hair comb or my looks, or was in secret love with a classmate or two. (Girls)

My biggest fears were that I would embarrass myself, or worse yet, my folks would embarrass me. I tried to stay away from my parents, especially when girls were around. I recall dating as a big production, filled with anticipation and expectations. It was a special time, the girls smelled pretty, and the times were great. A movie house was a special place where my arm fell asleep over the back of the girls chair, and when I relaxed it, it rose on its own, straight up in the air! After that embarrassment, it was off to DiDonato’s and pizza with a coke.

Now I look at things and say: “Who cares?” Did marriage do that to me, or was it old age? Did I lose my sense of excitement? All I know now is that everything hurts. Every time I get up from a chair, it hurts! I go to t a movie, she pays for it, and I don’t care. It comes from the same pot, and I don’t plan on impressing her. But the thought hurts, it makes me realize, the times have changed. I no longer have anyone to impress or make a fuss over. I realize she thinks the same way as I do. It hurts.

So, times have changed, all the fuss is over, throw away the combs, cologne, and fancy clothes, now I only want to be comfortable! But it hurts!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


The locust are coming, the locust are coming!

That is what it sounds like on the TV lately, whenever there is a hint of sprinkles in the weather. Get one overcast day, and the crawl comes alive with impending doom!

When hurricane Earl was nearby, about 1,000 miles out to sea, we started getting messages from the weather centers, those phony channel weathermen, and women, trying to get the public excited, and they having some real news to report. Let’s face it, the TV stations have news programs that try to compete with the internet, and are about a day behind, except when it comes to the weather! Then they can compete because of radar. Doppler radar enables the TV stations to give up-to-the-minute tracking of a current event.
It so happened that TLW (The Little Woman) and I had planned a vacation at the time hurricane Earl was supposed to arrive. Being a veteran of watching these weather stations, I know that they will make a mountain, mostly the Alps out of an anthill. The dramatic interruption of a TV show, sometimes a crawl in red running along the bottom of the screen, “Live from the weather center” it goes, all playing on people’s fears. Very rarely does a weather event warrant the excitement the TV stations try to project, and decided I was driving away, because there were too many uncertainties in the reports. The internet and the weather channel seemed to hold off on the doom and gloom, it was the network TV channels that were creating the false excitement. Sure enough, my instincts were correct, we got a few sprinkles on the Garden State Parkway, and nothing else occurred!

I think that Network TV should do away with their so-called newsrooms, and instead put on old movies, or reruns of Gilligan’s Island before they waste their income on non-events and try to compete with the internet for giving us news. Internet news is instantaneous, network news needs a good few hours to produce. The only ones worse than the Networks are the newspapers, their news is generally almost two days old!

Friday, September 24, 2010


December 6, 2009 was the last I heard. #1 Son, my third strongest critic, TLW (The Little Woman) is #1 critic and #2 Son keeps his moniker as #2 critic as well. What I refer to is or, Son of DelBloggolo, that pointed critique of DelBloggolo, this blogue, that dissected my opines of wisdom and truth, after every blog.

Suddenly it is silenced! What happened? I miss the cannoli ratings; I was watching what I wrote to keep my weight down, and now, no reviews, no comments, and no cannolis! Maybe the youngster can’t keep up with his old man everyday! Good God! Surely he can keep up with me, he has to, he owes it to the world to keep them abreast of what I write, as he once said: “My Dad has a blog. This forum will be a safe haven to dissect, discuss and analyze each of his blog entries. I will be reviewing each post based on the following merits: Originality, Sentimentality, Nostalgia, and number of Food References.”

I feel I let the whipper - snapper down, like he’s lost interest in my life, no matter how trivial it is. Ah, I know, it is his newfound love, his new interest, and his new passion: TLC (The Lovely Courtney). Well when I was in his shoes, I lost interest in everything too. That plus I didn’t care for his style shoes!

Maybe it was too easy to find faults, or maybe I have become too boring! Maybe I need to add sex to my blogues, you know, just to spice it up a little. I could write about the mating habits of salmon, or bears. Nothing too titillating, but it is something to keep my readership tuned in every day.

So to #1 Son I say: “TAPT (Touch A Palm Tree), and where are those cannolis?”

Author’s note: TAPT is code for “Enjoy California and all you do.”

Thursday, September 23, 2010


My brother-in-law Tom sent me this bit of information. I think it is wise if all you men read it carefully.

Women often receive warnings about protecting themselves at the mall and in dark parking lots, etc. This is the first warning I have seen for men. I wanted to pass it on in case you haven't heard about it.

A 'heads up' for those men who may be regular customers at Lowe's, Home Depot, Costco, or even Wal-Mart. This one caught me totally by surprise. Over the last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic. Don't be naive enough to think it couldn't happen to you or your friends.
Here's how the scam works:
Two nice-looking, college-aged girls will come over to your car or truck as you are packing your purchases into your vehicle. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with skimpy T-shirts. (It's impossible not to look). When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say 'No' but instead ask for a ride to McDonald's.
You agree and they climb into the vehicle. On the way, they start undressing. Then one of them starts crawling all over you, while the other one steals your wallet. I had my wallet stolen Mar. 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 24th, & 29th. Also Apr. 1st & 4th, twice on the 8th, 16th, 23rd, 26th & 27th, and very likely again this upcoming weekend.

So tell your friends to be careful. What a horrible way to take advantage of us older men. Warn your friends to be vigilant. Wal-Mart has wallets on sale for $2.99 each. I found even cheaper ones for $.99 at the dollar store and bought them out in three of their stores.
Also you never get to eat at McDonald's. I've already lost 11 pounds just running back and forth from Lowe's, to Home Depot, to Costco, Etc.
So please, send this on to all the older men that you know and warn them to be on the lookout for this scam. (The best times are just before lunch and around 4:30 in the afternoon.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


TLW (The Little Woman) and I are planning a mini vacation. We are thinking of going to Chicago, and just visiting a few sites, eat a good steak dinner under the el, and get some of that Chicago deep-dish pizza.

I haven’t been to Chicago in a while, and when I do go, it is always on business. This time I plan to just enjoy the city, sights, sounds and smells. Planning with TLW is an interesting experience. I remember our first planned trip, and that was our honeymoon to Europe. Planes, destination cities, hotels and special reservations were all planned in a small book we each had. The invasion of Normandy in 1944 was less complicated, and less successfully executed than what TLW planned!

Every morning we would meet on the LIRR on our way to work, and plan things such as weddings and honeymoons, and I have to say, if TLW is involved in the planning, it goes without a hitch. This time around we have a computer to measure our plans in a more efficient way.

TLW: “OK Joe, I’m going to look up a hotel. Where do you want to stay?”

“In the city itself.”

TLW: “Good, I don’t want to stay near the airport.”

“We don’t need a car, so let’s use the savings there for a upgrade from flea-bag to roachless hotel.”

TLW: “OK, here is a hotel, it has four and a half roaches, comes with a fly swatter and a pointy toed slipper for roaches in the corners!”

“Wow! You get a lot of amenities in a four and a half roach hotel! Book it!”

TLW: “Now, we still have to book our flight. Maybe we should book our flight first? Where do you want to fly out of?”

“LI Mac Arthur would be convenient.”

TLW: “Maybe you should call your sister and ask about her buddy pass?”

“I’m afraid to.”


“She may make it complicated, maybe we have to do something to get the flight out, like fly on a wing, or use separate planes.”

TLW: “Don’t be silly, if she is nice enough to offer us it, then I think you should take her up on it.”


I pick up the phone and call.

Sister MaryAnn, #3 Sister answers on the first ring.

#3 “HELLO?”

“Hi, it’s me!”

“Joe? Oh, high, what’s up?”

We are going to Chicago soon, and wanted to know about the buddy pass you get for being a flight attendant.”

#3 “Oh, no problem! You can stay at my house too!”

“No, I like to stay at my own place, don’t like to intrude on people, kinda like to walk around in my skivvies so to speak.”

#3 “No, No! I’ll probably be away anyway: you can stay at my place. Don’t be silly”

“No, I need the rest and peace and quiet if you are home those days. Between you and TLW, I’ll never get out of the house, and never will get a word in edge-wise! Which airline do I fly?”

#3 “VERY FUNNY, You fly Untried Airlines, the pilots need the practice landing. But if you want to NOT be bumped off a flight, especially in mid-air, I suggest you leave at 12:01 AM.”

“Do I fly out of LI Mac Arthur?”

#3 “No, you have to fly from LaGuardia. Then if you get bumped, there’s another flight an hour later, hour after hour. You can get bumped off, all day, on the hour! That’s a lot of flights to Chicago!”

“Gee, that IS convenient, wait only an hour to get bumped off the flight, rather than a long wait between flights!”

And so, our plans are set, less confusingly than I anticipated!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I’ve been saving this blog for when I thought MFF (My Favorite Fan) would return from her honeymoon. I would think by now she has. By the way, she didn’t go on her honeymoon alone, she took a really handsome gentleman by the name of Justin with her! I’m sorry all you bone heads out there that missed your opportunity to marry a wonderful gal: she is now taken!

Laura was my encouragement to write this blogue, my motivation to continue. I felt that if a smart gal like her could want to read it, then it must be worthwhile. I first met Laura (MFF) way back in 2007, on a visit to Sunny California and #1 Son. She was a gem back then, then I saw her once more in April of this year in California, and she got better with age! SHE was my first fan, and I never forgot that!

I met Justin at the same time, and I was very happy for MFF for picking out such a wonderful individual, someone worthy of her. They are two people who will give marriage a good example of what it should be.

They had their wedding in the Chicago area, in a restored barn, from what #1 Son tells me. When #1 Son said he had a friend who read my blog, who turned out to be MFF, and one of the Fab Five, I became intrigued. #1 Son doesn’t pick his friends carelessly, as every one of them are great people that TLW (The Little Woman) and I love. Some he first met at his jobs, and some from childhood, and some from California. ALL of them are quality people!

But MFF, along with my future daughter-in-law, TLC (The Lovely Courtney) are now my adopted daughters through love alone.


I hope your lives will be filled with happiness, love for each other, and wealth in all forms and shapes. I know you two will be a shinning example of love in marriage!

Monday, September 20, 2010


It seems like just last year we celebrated the arrival of Al Schneider, now we greet Ryan Dzicek! Ryan joined the firm of DelBroccolo and Tria, the Dzicek branch, on July 27th, 2010! His Dad is my handsome nephew Marc, and his lovely mom is Nicole.

Now I recall when Marc was a toddler, that being last year, and now here we are with Marc’s son, a year later! Where does the time go? It goes to the younger generation, that’s where. From what I’m hearing, little Ryan is half Sicilian, half Polish-Italian, and 100 % handsome. Now Italians don’t count Sicilians as Italians, or Sicily as part of Italy. They treat Sicily as the US treats Puerto Rico, a small island off the coast. This does not preclude Sicilians as it does not preclude Puerto Ricans from paying taxes to the mainland.

In actuality, the Italian-Sicilian thing has been going on for years. We kid each other, but if you went to Sicily or Italy, it is the same thing: warm friendly people who feed you! Both places have unimagined beauty and coasts, with countless ruins and treasures, and you find all that in their basements!

But getting back to Ryan Mathew, once again I wish my Dad could be here to witness it, he would be so proud of Marc, Fran and Tom his grandparents, and his own Mom for coming her so many years ago and starting the whole thing up, as a fifteen year old immigrant!

Welcome Ryan, please join Al in the future as we wait for more of you to appear!


Sunday, September 19, 2010


I like things in my life to be somewhat ordered. They should be somewhat predictable, within reason and on occasion, exciting.

Many years ago, about 45 this past January, I entered a design class at the New York Institute of Technology one day, and walked out with a best friend for life! I was a young college student with aspirations, and dreams, which were filled with some uncertainty. I was focused, determined to get a college education, to graduate with a degree, and be the first male in my family to do so. That dream expanded into a job on Madison Avenue as a “Commercial artists”, and maybe someday marrying someone and settling down with a house and family.

The odds were great that I would not make it, and the sense of doom followed my determination. I Had no car, and very little money. Dad could not pay for my education, he could barely feed us, and there was the persistent problem of a hearing loss, which was always under consideration. I would get up at 4:00 every morning, jump on a train and go to Massapequa, where I grabbed a bus to take me to Syosset and a long trek to the college which was located in an old medical arts building, while my school was being renovated in Old Westbury. Everyday was a living nightmare! “How long would I do this?” I thought.
Then that faith filled day I met my best friend, one that stayed with me the rest of my life, one who became my brother. He gave me rides at first, as we paled around, and soon my seriousness was disappearing, I was laughing more, enjoying my life, and making it more pleasant for those around me to enjoy their lives, too.

My buddy, Phil, became a part of my family, and cog in the workings of my personal life, and a positive no matter what happened. He and I shared much, many long roads, some happy times, and some bad ones, too. His Mom died while he was in college, and I learned about the Jewish faith, and understood more about honoring the dead. When my son died, he learned my side of the equations, as a Catholic. When he married, I was his best man, when I married, he was mine, naturally. When I stood on the altar for communion, Phil a Jew stood with me, and when the priest came over to Phil, his mouth dropped in shock, and the Priest, forgetting he was Jewish, slipped him a host!

Over the years we stayed in touch, when he moved to Florida for a while, and when he returned to live again in NY. He remarried and had three additional children, and one from his first marriage. Then tragedy struck and his daughter from his first marriage, my godchild, was stricken with cancer, and he called me one night as he sat at her bedside while she was dying. I jumped on a plane and flew down to Tampa, rented a car and stayed with him through the ordeal. I had to be with him.

He was not only: my best man, best friend, but also my daughter’s god father. We are very close. There is nothing he could want if I have it.

Recently he paid me a visit with his lovely wife Linda. She is a wonderful wife and mother, and has helped Phil live a good life, behind him every inch of his way. As we visited, he got up at one point, and walked into another room, and as he did, I watched him. He was like a stranger, walking slowly, with little jabs of old age pain striking him as he walked, the grey hair prominent on his head. My good buddy is getting old! Soon we will part whether we want to or not, we can’t control that. I hope I go first, I don’t think I could live with losing my good buddy.

How sad it is to see people from your youth, from days that were filled with hope and joy, dreams and the giddiness of youth, and know they were all spent. I guess it is like a billionaire waking one morning, and realizing his fortune is spent down to nothing!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I’m sure we’ve all had it happen to us, you go into a restaurant, and suddenly, a child starts to misbehave! Loud talking, leaving their seat and sometimes even coming up to you while you dine. It isn’t enough that you must contend with the loud overhead music, you now must deal with a screaming child! You are too far into your meal to get up and leave, so you try to deal with it. The restaurant wishes to remain neutral in the event, for fear of offending the customer involved with the kid, and tries stay in a low profile in hopes that the kid will eventually tone down, or leave.

I once was in a restaurant with #1 Son and Josh Peck, a great actor, and at a distant table a family sat with an obnoxious set of parents, and a child who literally screamed at the top of his lungs! The parents thought it was cute, and the restaurant did nothing about it.

It makes me wonder why we put up with the nonsense, and why restaurants don’t set rules.

Children should be allowed in restaurants to dine with their parents, but should not disturb people in the process. Some argue that banning unruly children would discriminate against children with emotional problems. Well, hello. We do discriminate against children with emotional problems, starting at the parental level! I have a daughter who has developmental disabilities, whenever she behaved unacceptably: we promptly paid our bill, and left, meals unfinished. Or we took the other route, which was NOT to take her to a restaurant to begin with!

There are restaurants that cater primarily to children, and encourage the noise and ruckus that comes with it. I don’t go there because I can’t behave like a child while I’m eating, so keep the kids away from me if they can’t behave. My two boys, while growing up behaved like little gentleman, in that they were children who did not interfere with others rights to dine in peace, and we should all be able to understand that.

So mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, I know your child or grandchild is the cutest kid ever to walk the face of the earth, I know it is the most beautiful to grace civilization, and surely, the smartest, but keep that brat in check in a restaurant.

Thank you.


Friday, September 17, 2010


It was the middle of the night, as I lay there, worried that TLW (The Little Woman) would not be warm enough, when suddenly I found myself spinning uncontrollably in my spot! Standing off to the side of the bed she stood, both hands on the blanket as she yanked, causing my spinning.

Me, in my sleep, or half awake: “Hey, you took all the blankets!”

The next morning we stood face-to-face in the kitchen, beneath the rising sun. We had only just begun when: raising her index finger, she said:

“Are you going upstairs now?”

“Yes, why?”

“Because I want YOU to look at the bed.”


“Don’t huh me, look at where all the blankets are!”

“The blankets?”

“Yes, you took all the blankets last night and yelled that I was taking them all back, when I tried to cover myself!”

“Ah, you must be mistaken, I don’t yell, and I don’t remember that event happening. Are you sure you weren’t dreaming? You know you do that a lot. Especially lately, since you switched bagel brands.”

“Don’t give me that! I was laying there half naked last night because you had all the blankets.”

“If you were half naked, why didn’t you call me? You know the routine: “Yoo Hoo, I am calling YOO HOO!”

I went upstairs for my shower when I decided to look at the bed. It was an obvious set-up, as she probably pulled all the blankets over to my side! I mean, if she said she took them back, why are they all over on my side? I’ll tell you why, because SHE took all the blankets, and I had to yank them back, half naked, in the middle of the night!

Stay away from those bagels you buy in the supermarket, get them fresh.


Thursday, September 16, 2010


Just ask TLW (The Little Woman).

Our dinner conversations usually center on our day. TLW likes to relate stories from the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Company, and often to make them interesting will substitute real names with made up ones to add spice.

Ferinstance: TLW was relating how people scam the different credit unions, to make a buck.

TLW: “Lets say you… Joe Schmuck, want to transfer funds from one bank in NY to one in Florida.”


TLW: “And to do it you call the Wanna-be Bank and Truss Company and give them the name Joe Schmuck, and then the bank.”


TLW: “You say: I want to transfer X amount of dollars to the Florida Bank, into the Joe Schmuck account.”

“I do??”

Then we call their existing phone number that we have on file, and if it matches, YOU… Joe Schmuck will have the money transferred!”

“I will?”

TLW: “You’d think they would spend the brainpower helping the world!”

Of course this is all new to me. I never expected TLW would think of me like that! ME, with money? OK, A schmuck that HAS money, amazing!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


You never forget.

On my recent mini-vacation down at Cape May, TLW, (The Little Woman) and myself, along with my brother- in-law Steverino, and my lovely sister-in-law, Sara, (TLW’s sister’s husband and brother’s wife) decided to take advantage of the most spectacular weather Cape May can offer. Under a beautiful clear blue sky, and bright shinning sun, with temperatures in the mid-70’s and a gentle ocean breeze, we decided to go rent bicycles and enjoy our selves for the day.

With a little trepidation, we selected our means of transportation, one of which transported us all back to our childhood, making us feel 12 again, and started our tour of Cape May. In fact, I was worried I had to get back home before dinner and my father would have to come looking for me! Thinking and feeling confident that I could do this again, I pushed off on the higher of the pedals just like I used to, and wobbly started my ride, scared out of my every living mind that I would hit a car, or maybe a tour bus, and at least take out a few tourists!

The first order of business was to cross the street, show no fear, and hope when I get killed, it is quick. As the front wheel refused to totally cooperate with me, I wiggled across the street, when at some point I realized I would have to stop. What to do in case of an emergency and a red light? I decided to do what any sane person like me would or should do, I would: a) fall off the bike, 2) while bleeding profusely, pretend I am fine.

It seems all the cars in Cape May are wider than regular cars I find on Long Island, as they fly down the streets of Cape May and force me to pray and curse all in the same breath! This is called multi-tasking.

As we biked across the island, taking in hidden sights and finding places I never dreamed I find myself in, we came across a lemonade stand, where we stopped. For 50 cents each, I treated everyone with a glass, the proceeds going to Jerry’s kids! Being it was the Labor Day weekend, the telethon was in full swing, and we did our small part.

Well the one thing that was most difficult was to remember to pedal backwards as I coasted to a stop, gentle applying the brakes, but when I did stop, getting my body in a dignified stance of nonchalance stature and soundless ease. Instead of my crashing into my poor sister-in-law, while going: “oooph!” while she is saying, “I’m good, I’m good!” and my apologizing for being a klutz.

There well may be no ‘next time!’

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


TLW (The Little Woman) and I sat in the restaurant waiting for our drinks. I noticed that that morning in a diner, we tried talking and couldn’t hear each other. The people at a table behind us were talking rather loudly, and the acoustics were the problem. It was not the only problem: the piped in music was as loud as you would care to have it. Our dinner conversation was similarly drowned out by some horrific piped-in music and hearing TLW was very difficult, too! She too was having a difficult time hearing me.

Relating an experience she had in Macy’s, TLW complained that there too the music was intruding and obnoxious, and it made for an unpleasant shopping experience. We both wondered if we were getting too old or the establishment’s personnel were getting too young and doing the music thing.

What I don’t understand is why we need music-playing overhead to begin with? Can’t one enjoy the experience of dining out without trying to strain to hear over the music? What muttonhead determined we must have loud music intrude in the first place? To tell you the truth, I would rather have no music, but if they must, how about soft, low elevator music?

I don’t want to hear screaming men and women and loud bands overhead while I dine. I don’t want to strain to hear, and I certainly don’t want THAT when I’m eating. You go to parties sometimes and again, the loud music so you can’t hear yourself think. WHO NEEDS IT? If you are shopping, and need to concentrate, you want that distraction either. How many of us play music overhead while we eat at home? Oh, I know that the music is so others don’t overhear my conversation, but I don’t talk that loud for them to hear me, and they should extend the same darn courtesy.


Monday, September 13, 2010


Or so the accusation goes.

It all started when I got the order to put in a new foot lock for the patio door, and to reconnect the house alarm contact in the same door. It was a sweltering humid day, and TLW (The Little Woman) had already given me orders to connect my new phone, but to “Read the instructions, first!”

Then came the following:

“You will put in the foot lock, and then reconnect the house alarm to the same said door.” She knows where I live, so I had better get it done.

Pulling out my toolbox, I started working when she decided I needed more instructions on how to do things too. After testing my theories, checking the door for closing and adding her opinions, she finally said: “I don’t know why I argue with you, you know what you are doing!”

Feeling somewhat inflated (No fat jokes, please), I continued my assignments like a true husband. Finally things were done, and there stood only the cleanup. Bending down to start picking up things, I said: “Toots, I was going to take care of that!”
TLW: “Oh, I don’t mind, you can pick up your tools. (I got permission!) I’ll pick up the instructions, you don’t use them anyway. ”
Me: “well I always say…”
TLW: “You are just like your father! When your father did things, your mother would call you to come over and fix it because your father never read the instructions, and now you are just like him!”

Me: “But I always say if you spend time reading instructions… nothing ever gets done!”

Sunday, September 12, 2010


On September 12, 1910, an Irishman by the name of James Manning was born in the city of Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland. He came to this country in his twenties, and carried more than anything else, his self-respect and honesty. He was a man of peace who fought hard to make things right, and had the devil in him to make his children peacemakers. He embraced the ideals of this country when his children choose to marry other than Irish, accepting the fact that we were a multi-national race of people, Americans! He could drink like an Irishman, but did it with class and humor, usually making everyone laugh with him. He knew not to clench his fist, unless it was to knock on the door of every opportunity life offered him.

He was ornery, didn’t like violence, but loved to see the workings of the Watergate trial. He could be contrary, just for the conversation, and I never remember him being agreeable with anyone but God! His love of his life, Helen his wife, would often suggest he go poop in his hat. (A tradition her daughter embraced and uses on her husband.) He should have been given a greater chance for a higher education, because he would have grabbed the brass ring and run with it to the top of the world. He would spend his Sundays editing the NY Times, and then would send them what he found. He was a very sensitive man, who did not like to have any confrontation mar the view he had of life, he choose a peaceful way to debate.

He placed great value in educating his children, who in turn, turned to education as a vocation, he would be proud of all of them today, but instead it is his children who are proud of him.

His grandchildren: those who did meet him, can only remember and respect born out of love, a man who loved them, and carry his memory in their hearts.

So we say “Happy Birthday” to Dad, Grandpa Manning, Jim.

There is only one place he resides now, and I have to wonder if God has gotten the Golden Book edited by his resident: James Manning.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


You know it breaks my heart that we are in a world so divided. We seem to fill our lives with self-righteousness and do it all in the name of God! We choose how to venerate, consecrate, and then denigrate. We forget we are all made of the same mold, the same particles, and under the same God. But we forget that.

Looking at the pictures of the people that fled the ashes that disastrous day in 2001, and I wonder how it came to be! I see Christian hate groups and Muslim hate groups, all with the same aims; show no tolerance. We trample on each other and cry foul when we get trampled on.

I don’t hate Muslims, or Jews or non-Christians, but I hate those people under any god they choose, that have no tolerance for the innocent, for the non-believers, for other ways to prayer, other than their own.

What I would love to see is an ecumenical council established under the auspices of the United Nations. It would be a moral authority that reaches consensus and establishes a code of ethics and moral principles, basic to all religions. It would help sway the fanatical segments of all the religious bodies in the world, so as to protect the innocent ones, the people that don’t go out in the name of God, Allah or whatever from coming to harm.

Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream words and music by Ed McCurdy
Last night I had the strangest dream I'd ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed To put an end to war
I dreamed I saw a mighty room Filled with women and men
And the paper they were signing said They'd never fight again
And when the paper was all signed And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads And grateful pray'rs were prayed
And the people in the streets below Were dancing 'round and 'round
While swords and guns and uniforms Were scattered on the ground
Last night I had the strangest dream I'd never dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed To put an end to war.

Friday, September 10, 2010


The day arrived, TLW (The Little Woman) had a procedure scheduled at a local hospital, and we waited for her to be called. It wasn’t a big deal, and we both have had it done.

TLW: “The whole procedure will take two hours, the receptionist said! So you may want to go to the cafeteria for something while you wait.”
“Nah, I’ll wait for you then we can go to breakfast together.”
TLW: “ Well, you don’t have to eat, but you can get a cup of coffee while you wait for me.”
“OK, I’ll see how it goes.”

The nurse calls TLW and I settle in with a Time Magazine, and start reading everything from the world news to Apple’s home base in Cupertino, Ca. When you have two hours to kill, you read as much as you can, about everything there is, whether you care or not!

The first hour flies by, and I look at my watch and think, “I’ll go get that coffee TLW suggested, it sounds good right now. I can almost taste it!”

I put down my magazine and start with the door. It has two long push bars, and neither is working for me, making me feel like an idiot. Let me re-phrase that: a bigger idiot than I usually am. Someone from the inner office yells out: “YOU HAVE TO PUSH THE BUTTON!”

I look around feeling stupid and finally find this 6” square metal button, on the wall next to me. I push it and the doors automatically open for me, like I’m a god!

Looking ahead I see a long, long hallway, but I can smell coffee brewing. It is getting stronger, and the aroma is enticing. “Coffee” is going through my mind. I see Juan Valdez, and even the Exxon Valdez including the donkey Juan came into town with, but I can’t find the cafeteria! Going deep into the hallway, I think, I better turn around before I get lost, and they are calling me to collect TLW! I see a list of rooms and “Rio CafĂ©” and think: “Ah ha! I go that way.”

Feeling triumph, I head the way the sign indicates, my tongue dragging for coffee. I even find a Men’s room, which I enter and as I lock the door, I hear someone jiggle the handle. Annoyed, I refuse to answer the door when someone asks: “Are you going to be long?” I wonder how he means that and finish up. I finally enter the coffee shop; find the coffee, my tongue scraping the floor by now. I get a small container, some milk and pay the attendant. I find a nice seat, comfortable by this very large TV screen. The topic on the TODAY SHOW? Why, “Does surgery prevent illness?”

I peel back the plastic lid covering my coffee, one sip, IT TASTE SO GOOD! I hear:
“Joe Del Bloggolo?”

I look up, and the guy I just paid is holding the phone, I get it, she is finished! WHAT??? In an hours time she is finished!

Why not, she does these things to me at home too!

Thursday, September 09, 2010


So it seems. We used to go to work together, travel together, did everything together. I named one of my sons after him, and my other son has his name in the mix too.

Dad is gone, and it is 19 years, and today he would have been 94 years old had he lived. But he still lives on in my memories. He had a great sense of humor, would tease the hell out of mom, or me, and even his own mother. He as a very accepting person, didn’t matter who you were, you were always welcomed. He loved TLW, thought she was too good for me (I really don’t think he believed that, just said it to make me mad), and treated her like she was someone special. (She is.)

He loved my kids, but then he loved all his grandchildren, and they loved him back. He left a big tome of ‘Tonyisms’, which we still fondly laugh at, and to this day, I can still picture him in his knobby knees in summer shorts and black dress socks and shoes, bringing over tickets for his beloved Mets.

Dad love to sit at the table, with a meal Mom prepared, and all his children, spouses and grandchildren present. It made his day, his life, his being. He enjoyed the simplest of things, and never went too far to find them.

He was born of humble beginnings, his real father died of Spanish influenza during WW I, and by the time he was three, his dad was gone. My grandfather was so fond of him that he literally jumped out of a hospital window during a snowstorm to go see his kids!

Dad, Tony they called him, was cheap, very cheap, with himself and with us. We never got cars or educations paid for, never were given allowances and the only thing he gave us were: advice. If my may quote some of it: “Go to work”, and his most famous: “Go ask your mother.”

But even his cheapness was forgiven. During the summertime, when I would be on the streets of Brooklyn, playing with my friends, Dad would go by, and I’d ask for a dime, and without hesitation, he would reach in his side pocket, and dig one out.

He would make my poor brother-in-law into a cheap-o, when he was not necessarily so, because he didn’t give more to my sister. He was just “bustin chops” as we used to say. At his beloved Rollic, where he worked, he was affectionately known as Tony, and all I ever heard was what a great guy he was. How true!

So Dad, if you thought that by now I would forget you, guess again, I haven’t forgotten you in the least bit. Happy birthday Dad, we all love you. I know it comes from all of your kids, spouses and grandchildren. You weren’t perfect for everybody, just us.

And now that we celebrate your birthday today, your latest great grandchild decided to join us on your special day, a year ago, and so you share a birthday with Alexander Schneider!


Wednesday, September 08, 2010


TLW (The Little Woman), as part of her health regime’ as well as mine, goes every so many years for a colonoscopy. We all should, and most of us do. One of the things she has to do as you know is fast for more than 24 hours, only liquids such as black coffee, broth or water. To show her my support over the years, I’ve fasted along with her, because I know how hard it is to do it. At least if she doesn’t see me eating, she won’t mind as much, and if she doesn’t smell food, all the better. This time around, things are a little different.

TLW: “ Joe, I appreciate your support and not eating, but I really think you should.”
TLW: “ Because of your diabetes, your blood sugar levels will go dangerously low! So please eat.”
“OK. I promise I won’t eat in front of you. And no smelly foods!”

And so it goes, as we get old, we doctor a lot more, think about things we never worried about before, and of course, allow it to be a part of our conversations when we get together. Then there is a whole host of meds we must take, things like Altace, or metropolol or Vytorin or any of the “old-age” meds we are on.
Of course, old age does have its privileges. For one, I can pretty much say anything I dam well please in public! What I say or do for that matter can be attributed to being old. I can now drive at 20 mph in the fast lane with my left directional on, leave a shopping cart full of groceries in the middle of the aisle blocking the young whipper-snappers, and yes, can even let one ride in a crowded elevator. (Fart)

We now have standard equipment: hearing aides, bi-focals and teeth, all can now be carried without shame, and in our pockets! Getting up into a standing position is now considered “exercise”, as is climbing into bed! We shed hair and combs, dental floss and teeth, and “depends” now has a duel meaning to us.

But now I discovered there is even more! I no longer care what I look like in public! Yes, jeans are just fine, to weddings, funerals and formal occasions. Getting away with that is another story.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Being married for almost 40 years, I learned that there are times when TLW (The Little Woman) likes to take over, be the boss and run things her way. Me, I don’t care, as long as they get done.

We had TLC (The Lovely Courtney) here for a wedding recently, and TLW was on her kick to change a VCR from one room to another, and plug in a DVD player along the way. We had some old movies we wanted to show TLC, and TLW was busy trying to figure it all out. This is what she likes. She would rather do that than even go shopping!

I hate doing that, and don’t like Radio Shack or Home Depot, find them filled with young geeks (Radio Shack) and old geezers (Home Depot), each with its own attitude.

So I leaned back, watching TLW as she scurried behind the TV, pulling out cables and wires and asking me questions, looking for connections and generally, having a ball. This intrigued TLC, as she then jumped into the fray, getting minimal help from #1 Son, who like me, made a half-hearted attempt at caring.

Well the floor was covered with one wife, one daughter-in-law, wires, VCRs and DVD players. It seemed like the two ladies were in heaven, as they tried to figure things out. Watching the fuss, I sneaked a look at #1 Son, and we both laughed, they were doing all the work!

I think somebody is marrying someone just like his mom!

Monday, September 06, 2010


Took #2 Son back to Purchase, in his quest for higher education. Driving up, TLW (The Little Woman) asked him questions about things he remembered as a child, and how he always read books. Moms seem to remember all the stuff that Dad’s forget, mainly because Dad is away all day making a living, while Mom is making a home.

The ride is usually only an hour and change, no more than 75 minutes long, but this time we faced an awful lot of traffic on the Cross Island Parkway, leading to the Whitestone Bridge. But bumper-to-bumper we went head to head against the traffic, until finally we arrived. As we drove toward the college, and I got closer and closer, a funny giddiness took over! Trying not to show it, I smiled to myself, all the while I could see marching bands, flags waving, fireworks and balloons in my mind! Once again we were at all the familiar places from last year, and it felt good to see it once more.

Finding his way around the campus for #2 Son was a slight problem in that he was not a new student, but an upper classman, so things were different for registration, and once we found our bearings, we got busy.

Unloading our car met with immediate trouble. The campus policeman pulls up and says we can’t park there, we have to move, however, when he sees we will not give him a hard time, he let’s us unload and then move the car! We unload with TLW staying with the stuff while I go to park the car somewhere. As I leave, I see a car parked near where we were, and the campus cop writing out a ticket! Returning to TLW, the owner of the car is totally exasperated as he reads his ticket, complaining to me that he had nowhere to park, and maybe they should have given him a break!

I meet up with TLW and #2 Son, and we begin the process of moving in. As I enter what appears to be a pristine place for the last time until next fall, I say to myself: “Gee, I should have brought my camera along to take pictures of the apartment! This way the rescue team will have an idea in the spring of where he may be under all the mess!” I know it would have helped last spring when he collected him.

#2 was happy to be back at the dorms, and anxious to get rid of us. After a trip to the bookstore, we said our goodbyes and TLW and me headed home. We were now a couple again! The ride was somewhat exhilarating and serene all at the same time! No more late day arising from bed, no more lights and TV on all night, no more dishes and pots left in the sink, and we would begin immediate excavating of his room, to once more find the floor!

And so another school year begins, and we will miss him of course. The political arguments will have to be put on hold, and the special meals we make for his vegetarian diet will cease. But he is comfortable with having us leave him, and that makes me feel good. If he wasn’t, we would all feel badly.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


TLW: (The Little Woman) “Michael, are you getting packed to go to school.
#2 Son: “Yes”
TLW: “Did you pack your clothes?”
#2 Son: “sure”
TLW: “I’m coming upstairs to check.”
#2 Son: “You don’t have to.”
#2 Son: “I got plenty of time.”
TLW “Did you take out all your clean clothes from the laundry basket?”
#2 Son: “Sure”
TLW: “Michael, we leave first thing in the morning!”
#2 Son: “Don’t sweat it, it will be done!”

And so the conversation goes, a frantic Mom and a son who takes all the time he wants.

When I left for college, my mother gave me a bag and said: “Put this in the garbage can on your way out!”

So I left with the knowledge that my college career would begin once I put the lid on the garbage can! It can be a confidence builder, since I knew I could now do anything Mom said I could!

I had a brown paper bag, not even plastic in those days, threw in my underwear, a tooth brush, some shirts and pants, a little bit of socks and shaving gear and I was off. I got no snacks, like chips, cans of soda or cookies. No one checked to see if I had everything I needed, and if someone did, I would have resented it. But life goes on, and I am recruited to load the car and disassemble objects that are too bulky to just pop into the car. I remember Dad sleeping through the whole process, and complaining if I made too much noise.

I guess we baby our children too much, are afraid to let them go without all of life’s necessities such as: cookies, towels, their whole wardrobe and half the medicine cabinet.

But to #2 Son’s credit, he couldn’t wait to get rid of us!

Saturday, September 04, 2010


You all get them I’m sure, a prayer or saying or some kind of patriotic thing that someone sends you in an email, and then tells you that you have to send it to 10 or all your contacts and if you don’t, thirty million people will go blind if you delete it.

I like to delete them, just to see who will start walking into walls.

I often wonder when something bad happens to me, if I should have sent that email off, after all? Did I cause my problem by not forwarding an email someone said I should? And what happened to people before emails? I remember the chain letter, but never paid attention to that either. Maybe if I had, I’d be richer today?

Some people send me forwards at least twice or three times a day, maybe more, and I wonder how they are living, is there house clean, do they go to the bathroom, is there a potty under their chair by the computer?

I very wisely have my computer upstairs away from the refrigerator: I don’t want to create ideal situations for myself. And what about the husbands and wives of these forwarders, are they tied up in the basement, hungry or just starving for attention?

Of course, you can’t escape the texters either. They text you at a drop of a semi-colon, when it is easier to just call. They text driving, walking, in restaurants and store, and even in the toilet I’m sure. There are the young ladies that drive, text and put on makeup, all while smoking a cigarette! Multi-taskers.

I was in LA a few years ago, and everyone I saw walking down the street had a cell phone in their ear. There are no longer public phone booths.

Imagine someone on his deathbed.

The dying man: “Dear this is it! It is getting dark all around me, I can’t see much! (Cell phone rings) “Wait, I gotta take this!” (gasping) “No, sorry, you have the wrong number. Now, where was I?”

Yes, it is all a big distraction, and NOTHING is getting done right anymore!

Friday, September 03, 2010


Time to say goodbye to summer. Once I close my pool, I start thinking about Christmas, and when I think about Christmas, I remember all the years in the advertising business where Christmas WAS thought of in the heat of summer.

It seemed that you always worked in reverse or opposite in the field: campaigns were readied six months in advance. So, while you dreamed of the vacation to the beach or pool, your thoughts were preoccupied with Christmas shopping, holiday cheer and snow!

In the fall, or autumn, for you better-educated readers, I thought about Easter! Yes, the Easter Bunny while everyone has a pumpkin decoration on their walls, I had comprehensives of ads for Easter!

Spring was no better as I readied my thoughts for fall. It amazes me how I ever got through the year. I guess I was always in the holiday mood, and totally confused. Then in August, around the end of it, I would see store ads for Halloween or even Christmas decorations, and would go home and rail on about, when all along, I was part of the problem! How sad to see a season coming and going all at the same time!

If you know me, you often wonder why I’m so crazy, and the above reason speaks for half of it. The other half is due to my deep love of chocolate.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


or how to trick that mangy old mutt into helping her.

Happy, my unhappy cocker spaniel has a hot spot, on her hind leg.

The order came from high above.

High Above: “Joe, we have to spray the dog, she has a hot spot on her hind leg.”


High Above: “You will hold her and I’ll spray.”


High Above: “Then when I go to work, you will have to do it.”


High Above: “Make sure you do it at least once.”


High Above: “OK?”

“I’m not sure. You need help, but I do it alone?”

High Above: “What you have to do is not let her see you with the spray bottle, then sneak around her and spray!”


High Above leaves for work, and later that day…

“HAPPY! OH HAPPY, COME HERE BABY, Daddy has a nice surprise for you!”
I then realize she is totally deaf, but not totally stupid. She is standing on all fours looking at me like I’m nuts. So I think: nothing has changed, she is not suspicious. I grab the spray bottle and hide it behind my back, grab a snack and toss it at her. I then realize she is also almost totally blind! She finds the snack, and while she gobbles it up, I strike with the spray bottle.

She may not be totally stupid, but I am, I had the spray bottle facing the wrong way, spraying the inside of my right hand! She saw the bottle and took off!

The good news is I have NO hot spots on my right han

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


And get rid of that pint of French Vanilla!

Yes, you see it all the time: it sits in your freezer, calling your name. Oh, you see it all right, you just don’t want to answer to the call, that of the siren, calling: “Yoo-Hoo, get a deep dish big boy and let’s fool around!”

It has co-conspirators too. Lurking in the pantry are the chocolate chip cookies, they are amassed, lined up like little round soldiers, waiting, just waiting for you to have a breakdown. Their friend the cake, it too lies dormant somewhere, silently sleeping until you crumble and cave in to your greedy need to satisfy your cravings for sweets.

All the while, your doctor’s face hangs in front of your eyes, you relive over and over again, the nurse pushing that weight on the scale to your right, until it crashes into the wall, and you are afraid the doctor will yell: “WHAT is that noise???”
And oh, what will he say when he reads your weight gain? Where do you hide your face when he asks: “What happened!?”

You go to bed that night, thinking of calories unfulfilled, of taste not enjoyed, of the emptiness in no satisfaction. The song goes through your head…

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Artist(Band):The Rolling Stones

'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try.
I can't get no, I can't get no.

When I'm drivin' in my car
and a man comes on the radio
he's tellin' me more and more
about some useless information
supposed to fire my imagination.
I can't get no, oh no no no.
Hey hey hey, that's what I say.

I can't get no satisfaction,
I can't get no satisfaction.
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try.
I can't get no, I can't get no.

When I'm watchin' my TV
and a man comes on to tell me
how white my shirts can be.
Well he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke
the same cigarrettes as me.
I can't get no, oh no no no.
Hey hey hey, that's what I say.

I can't get no satisfaction,
I can't get no girly action.
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try.
I can't get no, I can't get no.

When I'm ridin' round the world
and I'm doin' this and I'm signing that
and I'm tryin' to make some girl
who tells me baby better come back later next week
'cause you see I'm on losing streak.
I can't get no, oh no no no.
Hey hey hey, that's what I say.

I can't get no, I can't get no,
I can't get no satisfaction,
no satisfaction, no satisfaction, no satisfaction.”

Then you get up, say: “The hell with it, I got three months before I see Dr. Killjoy anyway!”