Thursday, May 31, 2012


And they are leaving me out of it!
They decided that this be a girls thing, and a chance for them to unwind and do girl things. They are including TLW (The Little Woman), and thinking of doing it once a year, every year.

As we get older, we seem to face new issues, health, or the health of someone else and so this becomes a respite from life. their respite will be that it is so they can get over me. Yes, that is what THEY’LL say.

It is going to be a gossip fest, a wine drinking, laugh filled gossip fest, brought to you by as I named it: the 2012 Annual Covenant. Another name that ran a close second is the ‘Gab Five’, kind of has a nice ring to it.

It was suggested to me by the flight attendant, sib #3, A.K.A. Motor Mouth, or Mary, Queen of Mouths that when TLW goes away that weekend, that I will crumble, cease to exist, become a non-entity, a sniveling heap of past pasta, a shell of my former self. I may be a non-entity, a sniveling heap of past pasta, a shell of my former self, but I will be watching the ballgames, watching what I want on the TV, and eating what I like, happily stretched out in my best couch potato position.

Now I suggested to her that that weekend I will be happily doing my thing, that they can reach me on my cell phone, because, who knows where I might want to go? Sib #3, A.K.A. Motor Mouth, or Mary, Queen of Mouths, suggested that it would be easy to get in touch with me: I’d be at Fiore’s Pork Store! Not very nice!

Well I have a busy day planned for today. I want to plan my menu for that special weekend, order a bottle of Jack Daniels, get the Cablevision guide checked out to record while I’m watching something else, and maybe grab my clubs and go to the golf course or driving range.

It’s good in America!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


It should bring it to the show. Watching Howard Stern on this show makes him look out of character. It is not the same guy you have on radio. Surprisingly I find him more likeable for some reason.

But the show itself seems to be a continuous lineup of no-talent acts and every now and then something or someone comes along who can wow you.

The stage was set for just such an event, as this little kid no more than 6 came out like a little old man, dressed like one who was going to rap. I figured this kid is cute, if anyone else were to compete against him, he they have no chance.

The little kid did his routine and 2 of the 3 judges just loved him. I thought the kid was just OK, even for his age. Howard Stern, to his credit said the kid didn’t have it to go to Hollywood. Now I hate reality shows because I find them too stilted in many ways, and this was one of them I felt. But Howard Stern told the truth, and then explained why:

There are people that work hard to go on these shows and their cuteness aside, need talent to win. This was a cute kid with no talent, so no go. It would not have been fair to all the contestants that worked so hard.

Of course the audience went insane, booing Howard, who stuck to his guns and reasoned with Sharon Osborn, the other of the three judges to concur with him. Then he got on the stage and knelt down to this little kid to sooth him and make the tears go away.

I salute Howard Stern, he has courage and is honest, he showed me something. I don’t dislike little kids, was one once myself, and had a few running around my house that TLW (The Little Woman) says were mine. They all ate a lot, so they must be.  But even cuteness needs a home as does talent. When you knock on the door of talent, cuteness should not answer.

Nick Cannon the host by the way, IS the show, he really brings it home!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Many years ago, when I first started at Publishers Clearing House, I was invited to a dinner function at a local catering hall. It was my first such function, and I was unfamiliar with the Port Washington area.

The event was scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at the Swan Club in Roslyn, and I didn’t want to be late. In those days there were no such things as a GPS, so you relied on people that knew their way around, or a road map. Since I didn’t have a road map of the area, I decided to come up with another plan.

I sat in the parking lot, behind the wheel of my new Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and waited for someone I knew would be going to the event. Suddenly my mark appeared.

Congratulating myself on my plan, I started up the car and the mark slowly pulled out, and I followed. Hitting the main roads were ok, I knew where I was, but suddenly we were in the back roads, going at a fast clip, me behind my mark. Sudden breaking for stop signs, high-speed accelerations from dead stops and whipping around corners, we suddenly arrived! Or so I thought. Everything was fine except for one thing. It was a small residential house!

I had spent about 20 minutes following someone who wasn’t going where I thought he should! Getting out of his car, Mike, my mark was surprised to see me. Not knowing what to make of my appearance, I suddenly felt sleazy! Here I was, following a grown man around!

I always keep maps with me, along with my GPS now.

Monday, May 28, 2012


It’s always on a Monday.

How strange, that we have only one day to memorialize those that gave so much. It is hard to imagine the sacrifice, the bravery that comes from fear, and the finality of what those we memorialize went through!

We are lucky that they stood in the way of tyranny and despotism to protect us. It is fortunate that they come from the small towns and villages, and even the big cities, giving away their lives for those very places! Maybe they came from our very families!

But if you talk to the guys that survived, they can’t recall being brave, just scared. If you mention the service they put forth, they will look at you quizzically, and they survived the dangers, thank God. But to those who gave all, they left us with the greatest gift they could give, our freedom for their lives. And we only recognized them one Monday a year? They lie silently and ask for nothing in return, and all we can give them is one Monday a year.

They left their dreams, hopes and families, their mothers and fathers, sisters and brother, and lovers, and we recognize this only one Monday a year?

Somewhere in heaven, there is a higher plain for those that sacrificed their lives for Freedom. I use the Capital ‘F’ because it is a word we should revere, as we should consecrate the memory of those that made the ultimate sacrifice for the word, and gave it its meaning.

For over 225 years, nations have challenged us, tried to take our freedoms away, but the brave men and women who gave their all stood in their way and said: “Over my dead body you will.”

Let’s not lose sight of who they are on Tuesdays, not forget them on Wednesdays, remind ourselves of our freedoms on Thursdays, thank them again on Fridays, and as we enjoy our weekends, know that they gave us that enjoyment.

Thank you to all that gave their time and efforts for this great country. To you I remind, that the only reason we call it great is because you made it so, both those who lived to tell it and those who lie in silent testimony to what the brave are all about! Truly, God blessed America!

words and music by Pete Seeger
performed by Pete Seeger and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Taken husbands every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

©1961 (Renewed) Fall River Music Inc
All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


TLW (The Little Woman) and me have a friend who we haven’t seen for a while. She is a wonderful lady and she has a wonderful family. She lost her husband years ago to cancer and carried on, keeping her family together.

She is a bit if a dresser for her age, preferring the young look and for the most part can pull it off convincingly (The look that is). Some women shouldn’t dress this way in their 60’s but she can.

Recently the media was all, astir about the health risk of tight jeans that women wear. Apparently tight jeans can cut off circulation and cause other problems. Our friend had a phrase for it: “TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT” as she describe it! When TLW would describe someone wearing them tight, she would quote our friend.

Now I would like to discuss the real danger of tight jeans.

There are two kinds of tight jean dangers, those that are worn by women who can show off their shape, and those that shouldn’t under any circumstances. Both are a danger, like texting while driving. Butt the danger is not to them, butt to those who witness it.

A young man or an old one for that manner, can easily be distracted by a good looking physical specimen, while walking in her tight jeans, to cause a car to drive off the street and jump the curb. I’m sure it has happened in the past and will happen in the future. Butt the ladies that are extra large, the ones that grow disproportionally to their height, pose the most danger! Not to be mean, butt why would you dress like that? Come on ladies, nothing wrong with dressing in jeans, you should be comfortable, butt when you dress like that you make it uncomfortable for yourself, and any innocent bystanders. It is disgusting, scary, and causes nightmares long after you leave the scene.

“"I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself."
- Oscar Wilde-The Picture of Dorian Grey

The quote tells it like it is. Although it speaks of temptation, it says something else to me. You don’t need to draw attention to yourself with a style that no longer fits you, being yourself is beautiful enough. I know enough women both in young age and old, that being over-weight blind you by their minds, and what they say.

It is nice to look nice, it is nice to be recognized by what comes out of your mouth, not out of your closet, or the need to compete with the young or the sexy. All women are beautiful; they don’t need to pressure themselves into looking like something they are not.
Unfortunately men can be shallow and make judgments based on looks alone, and that is why many relationships don’t last long. That is why women dress the way they do, have to torture themselves in heels and spend long hours on makeup.

If you have a relationship of mutual respect, an appreciation of what comes out of the mouth, and not the tube, the atmosphere seems so much clearer and cleaner to me. I know that when TLW dresses up, she is still beautiful in spite of it, because I still see the gal I love, not the gal that is changed.

Maybe this is the old man talking, but I didn’t become interested by TLW’s looks but by her wonderful sense of making me feel at home with her. Her morals, her sense of honesty, her sense of fairness, and her lack of ego all mak:e for a beautiful women. Yes, she can be a pain in my butt at times, butt so can I be one in hers. Recently I stopped to smell the roses or the coffee so to speak. Going over photos from years past, I realized just how beautiful TLW is in the past as she is today.  Butt it is true: looks aren’t everything.

So ladies, don’t choke yourselves to death over what society demands from you, it is crazy.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Every morning as part of my pathetic attempt at losing weight and getting healthier, I walk. Yes, that time consuming annoyance called exercise gets into my naptime and really throws my plans off.

To make the time pass, I am writing a short story and as I walk I think abut the next chapter. If you ever read the story: “Growing Up Brooklyn”, you will know it was written out of breath.

As I walk I look at the gray rainy day and see all the colors that stand out along the way. Sometimes I make mental notes of things, and sometimes I do take the time to smell the roses, or the grass, or the rain as it hits the pavement. All these things become magnified when you are alone. It helps to heighten your awareness of the worlds around you and give you the solace needed to think about life and all there is to do.

Of course creating while you walk is a very healthy and smart thing to do.  Why? Because you are making your blood flow at a quicker rate and stimulating your brain a little better. Some of my most creative moments come from the shower, or Inspiration Falls, and my forced march to health. I can get excited about any project in those two instances.

However while walking one past morning in the rain about 6:45 am, I had a light jacket with a hood that I had up, and my baseball cap placed over it. As I turned the corner toward my house and just before my next-door neighbor’s house, Carole, I hear this laugh, a woman’s laugh and it is loud. This is never good for me and sure enough there is Carol looking at me and laughing at me in my ‘hoodie’!

“I’m almost 67 years old and don’t care what people think anymore!” I announced and she sticks a camera up and says: “I have to show this to people so they know what I have to deal with on my way to work!”

Friday, May 25, 2012


All day long I have been feeling lousy. Lower back pain, arms, legs hands and feet all hurting and achy. A slight headache reminds me that I don’t feel good. I don’t feel like eating, and when I took my walk this morning, I had no energy to do it, and almost couldn’t, but I had to get home.

For the past two days I have been feeling tired, very tired and sleepy. I sit on my recliner and can fall off to sleep. Every noise is annoying me including the TV. If I were working I’d be throwing everybody out of my office.

I don’t want to lie down and I don’t want to sit up, frankly, I don’t know what it is I want! TV sucks and I couldn’t get myself motivated to write today. I think something is wrong with me.

Going out to lunch today with an old colleague didn’t help matters, I wanted to stay home but he came from a great distance. Sitting in the restaurant I wanted to go home, I am a miserable so and so today.

I hope tomorrow is a better day for you and me, as these things usually last 24 hours, I hope.

The trouble is if I call tech support, they will give me a Pakistani tot ry to help me.

Halo-dis tech support, ou may I elp eyou?

Then they will tell me to download an app for it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


You should never rush out to the mail-box, there may be some mail for YOU!

I should know, it happened to me. It was a business letter size white envelope with the dreaded court logo. Yes those people that call every now and then and say: “OK, no plans for the week of, you are on call, this is what you get for voting, paying your taxes, and paying for a driver’s license. We are currently looking for more ways to inconvenience you and/or annoy you. Our recent successes include the airport screening and new road work projects that have all the lanes merging into one with no workers in sight. 

Of course as an American citizen, I should be happy to do this because of all the guys and gals that gave up their lives for this privilege. AND, I should be happy to be on the right side of the jury fence, too!

“So, you got a jury summons!” Announced my mother-in-law’s daughter, a.k.a. TLW (The Little Woman).

“Noooo, it’s a questionnaire!”

TLW: “Boy! When was the last time you got called?”

“Back in 2004.”

TLW: “I think I’ll call them to tell them it’s been a while for you. At least you get called for the local court, I had to go to Federal Court in Brooklyn!”

“Come to think of it, the last time you went was 1999! When you are done calling about me, let me know so I can call about you!”


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I decided to heed the cardiologists’ advice, and do more exercising! This is definitely anathema to me, and yet whenever I do it, I become obsessed about doing it.

Why am I doing this? I really don’t know, and it seems so counter-productive to my wild and exciting life! I like to live on the edge. The edge of a chair, the edge of a plate, and the edge of the bed, since TLW (The Little Woman) takes over the rest of it!

Now here is the good part, as I leave, I leave TLW sitting in her chair reading or watching the TV, it’s fun to leave and know I am leaving a little guilt behind. I invited her to join me a number of times, but a bad hip and all.  I go to the door, look at her, and she will not make eye contact! I know I’m mean.

So I got myself a couple of dumbbells, (no one you would know) and coupled with my walking, I created a routine. Now one of my sisters, in her need to tell me what to do: (Pick one of four, they all tell me what to do) sent me a suggestion in an email. She suggested I go to the lumber yard and buy a thick piece of wood, cut into a block, set on the living room or den floor, walk around it and say: I walked around the block today!

Very funny.

Anyway, the dumbbells are a good idea, since I can exercise while not walking or running that I really hate. Each weight is 5 pounds, and very convenient for loosening up the muscles, upping the cardiovascular rate, and limbering up, all in the span of no more than 10 minutes time.

The walking is another issue. Since I walk around the block only once, I am starting to see how quickly that goes, so I will eventually double that. I want to improve my mind, so the extra walk will help me count, all I need to do is remember if I went already once or is this the second time. Reminds me of a story that happened many years ago.

My grandmother was a bastion of immigrant Italians who needed help. They would come from “The other side” and check in with Grandma. She would give them money, or a place to stay, or arrange for them to get housing or jobs. This is during the depression, and Grandma was making money in a fruit and vegetable store, a few apartment houses and a restaurant!

So one day this lady comes to Grandma, can’t read or speak English and needs to go to some office in Manhattan, from Brooklyn. Grandma tells her to take the subway and to get off at such and such a stop. The lady says how will I know if I am there? Grandma counts out ten pennies, one for each stop. She says to the traveling immigrant, when you get to the first stop, take one of the pennies from your right hand and put it in your left hand. Do this for every stop. When you put the last penny in your hand, get off the train.

The lady comes back to Grandma a few days later and Grandma asks: So, did you find the place ok with the pennies?

No, claims the lady, it seems somewhere in between the 4th and 7th stop, the train lurched suddenly, causing the poor lady to grab the pole so as to not fall, dropping all the pennies! Seems she rode around on the BMT for a while!

So I will take two pennies with me when I start to walk, and hope I don’t drop one red cent.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MAY 22, 1965

It started out as a rainy, gloomy day and ended as a sunny beautiful Saturday, filled with promise, love, hope and happiness. It was the first wedding to come out of our family of 5 children.

Chuck Berry premiered ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and my new brother-in-law John was!

Ticket to Ride by the Beatles goes to Number One on the pop charts, Super-cali-fragil-istic-expi-ali-docious hits #66", LBJ presents the Great Society, and Robert A Rushworth, USAF major, takes the test jet X-15 to over 19 miles!

It was a day where the limo carrying the newly weds left the church for pictures and got a flat tire, and hey, ain’t that a kick.

The historic La Grange Inn was decorated for the festivities and all my aunts, uncles and cousins sat around making notes about whether they liked the band, place and/or food, my sister’s dress or the flowers, but they all agreed they liked her new husband.

I wanted them to decorate the cake in pepperoni and kielbasa to mark the mixture of Italian/Polish unity but was told I was too political minded and to get back under the table.

It is 47 years later, and they still seem to look the same, they are the same couple they were so long ago, and watching them made the years seem to fly by, it is fun seeing a marriage work.

As for me; you know the old adage, I didn’t lose a daughter, I gained a son? Well, I didn’t lose a sister: I gained a wonderful brother.

The first time John showed up at the house had to be around 1963, and the popular TV show, The Rebel was running with a popular song: ‘Johnny Yumar Was A Rebel’ was hitting the charts, when who walks in but his double for the first time! Damn if he didn’t look like Nick Adams.

It seemed whenever you were out in public with Tessie my older sister (Much older), she would meet someone she knew, and we had to stop while she chatted, or got re-acquainted with. Meanwhile John would be out in his boat, or softball field or golf course, or maybe even behind the intricacies of an IBM machine as a customer engineer, his suitcase of tools beside him.

Anyway, 47 years have past, they had 2 beautiful daughters, and A handsome son, PLUS 5 grandsons, a great home filled with the challenges of everyday life, and yet they stick together, a family, willing to do what needs to be done in this world to survive.

Today, they struggle with John’s illness, but they struggle as a team, as a family as they know they have everyone’s support.

Everyone in the family loved the couple, because in spite of their troubles, they bring a little sunshine into a gloomy world, all by themselves.

Happy Anniversary, Tessie and John!

Monday, May 21, 2012


My Aunt Marie who recently passed away was holding out! She never really told us about her granddaughter, who I met for the first time at my aunt’s funeral. I have a cousin Billy that I only see it seems at funerals. The last three times I saw Billy were at my son’s funeral, my Uncle Frank’s (his dad), and his mom, my aunt Marie’s.

I would call my aunt about every two weeks to see how she felt and to have a laugh with her. She was filled with great stories, old-fashioned opinions and such a great sense of humor. I would ask: “How’s Billy?” and she would on occasion mention her granddaughter, how nice a kid she was. I figured, OK, that’s a grandmother for you, and besides, her son is a very good guy to his parents, always respectful and never gave them a bad day in their lives, so the apple never falls far from the tree.

So I met Christina for the first time and my older sister (much older) Tess and I along with Mom are immediately impressed. My aunt never told us she was so beautiful, yet alone so charming and intelligent.

You guys out there that are 26 and older, up to the age of 30, should make inquiries about this gal. Of course you would need to pass a rigorous screening first by me, but if you can measure up, I would forward your info to her. This is not an ordinary gal, this is special and my cousin’s daughter, my aunt’s granddaughter.  You will need a resume, your last three years tax returns and the last two months pay stubs, a picture of yourself, and be able to understand English, drug free and you are allowed to smoke, as long as you don’t bum off of others! Losers need not apply!

She is currently available for dating, having lifted her moratorium of such things, and this is good news for all the bachelors out there.

Make sure you treat her like a lady, buy her a very expensive dinner, not that dinner would necessarily impress her, and be respectful.
No kidding, she is a lovely lady! I don’t want to scare you bachelors, but your mom would definitely approve!

You ask: “Why are you making this recommendation, DelBloggolo? Is there something wrong with her?” My answer to that is: I don’t make recommendations unless I think the reason is very worthwhile. She is beautiful, very funny and very mature, not some gum chomping little girl, but a real lady, self-sufficient and smart. She is educated and extremely responsible. But are you man enough or good enough for that kind of woman?

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I happened to go by TLW’s (The Little Woman) Mother’s Day wishes in the form of a greeting card from #1 Son, sitting next to the TV. It happened to look like a very nice card so I opened it up and read it. It contained the usual sentiment from both TLC (The Lovely Courtney) and #1 Son about mothers and mother’s day and how she did all this and that etc.

Being how I am a romanticist, love true sentiment and all, I read the inside and noticed there was an additional sentiment written in my former son’s handwriting. Penned among the emoted and cleverly worded Mother’s Day rhetoric was:

“Have Daddy do a bunch of stuff, and you sit back and relax.”


Dear Son:

Daddy has done his “bunch of stuff”- he is tired of doing “stuff”, both singularly or in bunches. Daddy, like a lot of Daddies would like to lie down and maybe not be in a rush to get up anymore. He ran around the house getting Mom ready for her trip to the hospital and drove in a driving rainstorm so he could have her deliver you and your suggestions, then he went out and bought a bunch of stuff so you could be playing: baseball, football, basketball, and deck hockey. (Still waiting for you to come and claim, as it sits in my basement) Some days he did a bunch of “stuff” in the heat of a mid-day sun on the baseball field, or in the cold of a fall damp and rainy evening on the soccer field. Sometimes after long weeks of commuting on the LIE, at a basketball game rooting you on, on my Saturday off.

I distinctly recall all the science fairs and plays etc., “stuff” I went to on your behalf, “stuff” you wanted a full house for, on days I couldn’t raise my head because of shame that the train ran late, I had to rush my dinner getting indigestion and stomach cramps and go to the school to cheer you on. Of course I won’t mention the rides you needed to friends houses and sports events and other stuff. Did I mention the trips to Shea Stadium?

There was always bunches of stuff I had to do around the house, to make it safe and convenient for you and your sibs. There were Christmas Eves when I was left at the foot of the stairs while you slept in your bed and I put together the toys that Santa delivered. There were 40 million parts and pieces that needed me to put together and make it work before the crack of dawn, hiding the leftover parts buried in the backyard when all I wanted to do was go to bed.

So naturally, I was surprised that I was still needed around here: that there was still: “a bunch of stuff” that needed MY attention! I guess it is nice to be needed yet.

Joestuff Del Bloggolo
Your former father until further notice

Friday, May 18, 2012



Saturday morning did not start out well for me. I was outside tending some weeds when my next-door neighbor came over to me and started to talk, telling me her 84 year-old Dad was dying, and would not last the week!

I left the house and headed out to the store and when I came back, there was a message on my phone. On the message that was somewhat garbled for me to understand, a young man was telling me he was sorry my son had drank himself to death, and that this caller loved TLW (The Little Woman) and me!

Looking at the caller ID, I saw that the number was a Louisiana number, and I figured it was a cell phone from a student at SUNY Purchase. TLW was not home doing volunteer work at the church all day.

The shock was devastating, as I tried to piece this all together. #2 Son was at college and there are always wild drinking parties going on. Was he dead? Why did the school decide to tell me this way? There is a shock that comes over one when one get news like that, the thought process is not rational or sensible, and a sense of denial takes over. I was heartbroken and enraged that a stinking phone call was all I got in the form of a message on my phone. It was tearing me up that I hadn’t seen him in a while, that I didn’t tell him the things I needed to say over and over again to my son. He was gone, and the finality of it devastated me.

I immediately thought about TLW: how would I tell this? How could I make sense for her and me to deal with this? Would I drive down to the church and tell her, or do I call the church and tell someone to tell her to come right home? I had tried calling the phone number from Louisiana, but it was busy. Then I thought I’d call my son’s cell phone, but there was no answer! I prayed and begged that it would but only ringing and a request to leave my name and number.

I guess if there is a time to panic, that was it, but then I got the idea to call the Louisiana number once more. This time the phone rang!  A lady answered the phone and I told her that someone had called me a little while ago about my son. Did I know who she asked, and I said no. Then I told her name and she shouted out loud my name. I asked her if I could talk to Michael and she said he was sleeping. Sleeping? That didn’t make sense and I figured I may be talking to a large college room, and a bunch of college kids were hanging around it. Then she mentioned my son’s full name and someone took the phone.

“Hello Mr. DelBloggolo?” the voice asked. Yes, who is this and what do you mean my son drank himself to death? He then identified himself and I realized I know the feller. He went on to tell me that 15 years ago he didn’t make #2 Son drink that he got so sick they hospitalized him, that #2 did it all on his own!

To say the weight of the world was suddenly taken away would not be saying enough! He was apologizing for he and my son did as teenagers long ago, and then he told me he had checked himself into a mental hospital in Louisiana, and they wouldn’t release him unless he started on medication, something he was reluctant to do.

I asked him if he didn’t want to take the medication, was not taking it what got him in the hospital in the first place? Feebly he replied that he would star taking it. Then he told me about his mom, how she divorced his dad and was u=in need of talking to someone. I voiced my reluctance and he convinced me to call anyway, that she needed someone to talk to who could help her, and that I was that person.

I don’t know why he asked me, I do think it was a process to rid personal guilt and to start to heal. I hope so.

Then to further my day, I dropped off a few prescriptions at my drug store and told to come back in an hour and a half. I came back in 2 hours and it wasn’t ready!

On top of that, I have a beard trimmer that I decided to clean, which meant taking it apart, and I could not get it back together again! Then once I figured it out, I had one last very important screw to put back in, when the screw decided to jump ship. For two hours I look for the screw. For two hours I crawled on my hands and knees looking, for two hours I swept the floor with my broom and then my shirt with me still in it! Finally I found it.

It’s all TLW’s fault, she left me home alone, she should know better!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The other day I was in Stop & Shop, the supermarket that is so big, they put the same products in two locations.

As I got to the checkout, the lights went out! A storm was raging with torrential rains outside and someone usually hits a poll in protest with their vehicle and causes the lights to go out and this was the probable case.

The big store sat in utter silence, no noise no movement, everyone looking up. Was this the end? Was this judgment day? Maybe Jesus was going to smite the store manager for his prices?

The lady in front of me stood there looking straight ahead at the self-check out, a bag on onions on the scale.

“To think, I was almost out of here!” she said.

We were informed that we had to go to cash only purchases at another register, and the whole line shifted.

A woman ahead of us took out her debit card to test it and it worked, a sigh of relief going through the line: “It takes debit and credits!” Suddenly it seemed brighter without the lights on. Even the bored check-out girl suddenly attacked her job with a new and happy determination.

Now when I was living in Brooklyn, back in the day, when you went to the grocery store, the grocer would take out a crisp new brown bag, place it on the counter, then proceed to put the prices on it in a column in crayon and tally it up.

In those days there was no credit cards, no debit cards, they had this fool proof system instead. With the system you never ran the risk of someone stealing your identity or charging huge run ups of money against you. It was a clever system called cash, and it was indeed safe.

If the lights went out, there was always candles and matches: and you could still count. The bag came out manually as the counting was done with a human brain, and you could participate in the counting yourself, thus sharpening your math skills while keeping yourself sharp! It was amazing!

The curious thing is how out of place everyone looked, mothering the same phrase: “We have to wait for the registers to reboot. Did you hear? They have to wait for the registers to reboot!”I was so proud of my  fellow shoppers, talking computer and everything! 

As I got to check out, the little girl hacking away at her gum and punching in numbers, I said: "You are a very brave girl under these trying circumstances!

And so the world stood still for a moment in time, but thank God, it too will reboot.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


The other morning I came down from my shower and noticed something unusual. There sat TLW (The Little Woman) with a bottle of champagne opened at 5:30 in the morning!

As I entered the room she was on the phone, all giggly and happy, with a glass of the bubbly in her hand. Suddenly she said goodbye to her girlfriend and asked:

“What are you doing here?”

“What do you mean, and WHY are you drinking champagne at 5:30 in the morning?

“Well I got an email from you stating that you were stranded in the Philippines?”

“What? I’ve been home all the long, sleeping next to you all night!”

“Well according to this email you are in the Philippines, see?” She shows me the email and I think: I just know I didn’t send her that email, I think?

Turns out someone hacked my account and sent everyone on my Yahoo list the email. Suddenly I’m getting phone calls from people on my cell phone.

My financial man, the agency, old high school classmates, and even board members and clients. For instance:

“Hey Joe, It’s Jerry back in the States. How the hell did you get stuck in the Philippines?”

“No Jerry, I’m not in the Philippines, someone hacked my account!”

Then this one: “Hello, Joe? Christy here, did you get hacked or something?”
”Yeah Christy I did, I’m not stuck in the Philippines, I’m stuck at home. Send the money to my home address.”


“Hello Joe? Ken, I see you’ve been hacked. Happened to me once, a pain in the neck. Figured I tell you they want $800 to be sent to an address in the Philippines!’

Yup, I’ve been hacked alright, does this mean you are not sending the money?”

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


If you remember Paul Lind, then you have a good picture of a fellow I once knew. His name was Jim and that is all I will say about his name. Jim was an artist that I hired many years ago when I worked in the city. I needed help because the company was growing quickly, what with Sony, Reader’s Digest, McCall’s, Red Book and Ladies Home Journal, the agency was running out of space and people to work on the accounts.

I had a stable filled with mechanical artists and free-lancers, but it just wasn’t enough. One day I put an add in the NY Times for a designer and Jim called seeking an interview. Human Resources gave me his resume and I asked them to set it up for me on such a date and time.

The day came and Jim entered with his portfolio, and we sat and talked for a while both shop and life in general. I reviewed his portfolio and liked what I saw. He was a fun wise ass, and an accomplished designer, and I just took to him. I hired him on the spot and he became part of the free-lance staff, and soon thereafter I hired him full-time.

Jim worked hard, night and day, and weekends too. He lived alone, had no one in his life and loved to work. This troubled me and one day I took him to lunch and found out that he had no one because he was gay. He said he trusted me to tell me this fact and that would I keep it under my hat?

I told him I suspected that that was the case, and he looked at me funny like.

“Then how come I’m still working?” he asked point blank.

That question befuddled me, made me wonder what he meant, almost offending me.

He related how he had worked for other outfits and they found ways to let him go, and he felt it was always because he was gay, and they would not want that around them. His fear originally was that at first I would can him too for some made up reason.

It never occurred to me to fire someone who was doing his job, and doing it well. I had other assistants that weren’t gay, and couldn’t do it as well as Jim. This was back in the 1970’s and as things progressed, I moved on to a national company with a high profile. I decided to take Jim with me.

Jim joined me and fit right in, making friends and doing what I knew he could do. But then one day he missed a day, then it became more frequent, and I started to notice a drastic change in his appearance, as his eyes were starting to get rings and his weight was way down, and he was getting sicker, missing more days.

I came to my office one morning and found a message on my phone, it was his mother, Jim had moved back to Pennsylvania, Jim was dying with aids. She apologized for him and left her phone number.

I immediately called her, and she told me more, and then asked if I still wanted to speak with Jim. Jim got on, and he sounded good, like Jim, and he was nervous. I told him I would arrange for him to get an extended sick leave, not to worry about his insurance, and that we would work something out. He was sounding happy when I said that and thanked me. We spoke a few more times on the phone on occasion and then I lost touch with Jim.

One morning, the mail came and in my in-box was a letter still sealed and marked in handwriting: “Personal and Confidential” I had been around long enough to know that that couldn’t be good, and sure enough it wasn’t. In long hand, I’m sure written in ink mixed with a mother’s tears was a letter to me from Jim’s mom, informing me of his passing. She said that Jim wanted me to know, that she felt that I was the only one who cared and that he thought highly of me.

I closed my door and for the first time in a while I cried. I tried not to, but it came fast and hard, my body shaking from the pain of losing this wonderful person. I guess it is nice that people who have conflict or issues would even think of me like that. Many people have the impression that I’m a right wing Nazi because of some of my beliefs. I value life, mine and others. It is not important to differentiate between who is one way or another, but to differentiate who is disagreeable.

I can still see him making fun of himself, living in the Village and sensing his loneliness, a blinding sadness and also his sense of loyalty to anyone who would accept him. I miss him, and no, I’m not gay, but he equalized in my eyes and heart, all men and women who suffer the pains of prejudice.

God bless you Jim!

Monday, May 14, 2012


You remember the old song sang in the early 70’s by the Carpenters? It is May 10th as I write this and about 5:55 am. The rain has been falling steady for a few days with no relief in sight. It brings to mind so many things that I associate with rainy days. My mom left to have a baby on a rainy day in December many years ago for instance. Me, I always love rainy days.

The rain first off is good for the environment as you all know, but to me it is a sense of appreciation of all there is in life. One of my favorite memories is when I was a young kid on rainy Saturday mornings. I would put on channel 9, (There was no cable in those days) and there was on my black and white TV the Million Dollar Movie with the score from Gone With The Wind. They would present a movie from the 30’s or 40’s. In it I learned about bad acting and great musicals, comedies that were really lame by today’s standards, but entertaining to me none-the-less. All the actors that Dad would mention: would suddenly appear in the movie, and what they looked like for the first time to me did not match my imagination.

Rain is a welcomed relief in the heat psychologically, fooling me into thinking that during a hot and humid day there is relief in the rain. Never happens.

The sound of raindrops on the roof seems to motivate me to come up with a new idea, for a dish, a blog or piece of art, and always stimulates conversation with TLW (The Little Woman).

But when it is raining and I’m home alone, I close all the lights and get in my recliner and close my eyes and listen. Soon I am running through days gone by, people I haven’t thought of in years, and what I want for dinner.

What I want for dinner?

Of course it wasn’t always like that. When I worked and took the LIRR everyday, rainy Mondays were always dreadful. Standing on a station platform in a raincoat waiting for a train to arrive, people trying to keep dry, getting on a train in wet clothes, walking down the canyons of the Big Apple, head down the wet wind pressing you and retarding your progress, and finally reaching your office, trying to find the strength to say: “Good morning!”

But getting back to the fond memories, as a young father, I recall those wet grey Saturdays with my kids. #1 Son had this Nerf basketball set, and we would play for hours, my son doing everything he could to keep me out of my wife’s hair.

So today I will look forward to another rainy day, read a book, come up with an idea, or just lean back in my chair and close my eyes. It’s good to be retired, it’s good to be the king!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


To Mom, TLW (The Little Woman), Tessie my older sister (Much older), Fran, Mary Ann and Joanne my beautiful sisters, Claire Hyde, Maureen and Angela (S S-I-L) and Laurie Ann and Jean-Marie (with a hyphen) Jennifer, Christine and Annmarie and Kim  and soon to be mom Sarah, and some moms that have lost a child in particular, I salute you and every mother that ever lived and will live. To the mother’s that read this blogue, you too are most respected in the same light and breath as those I mentioned.

Mother is a title that is probably the most venerated, most beloved, respected and the most challenged. It comes with great peril, because no matter what she does as a teacher, guardian, protector, homemaker and parent, how you behave somehow ends up on her doorstep by some people.

There are mothers out there who I need to acknowledge, there is Michele my high school classmate, who battles everyday, storming the heavens for God to heal her precious daughter, be it in Massachusetts, North Carolina, or East Patchogue, Michele is by her daughter and has been since before we reconnected. There is another schoolmate, Pam, who lost a child but keeps him very much alive in her heart and soul, there’s Laura, who made the world brighter with my little sweetheart Ava, my niece Laurie who lost two children before they had a chance to bloom, who spends her life working for others, a caring person, and my wife Ellen, who shows me that life continues, that we don’t forget, we remember in little ways.

To all the moms out there who have a child that is in crisis, in need of intervention in either a psychological or physical way, stay the course, your child has the greatest ally ever, you. If your children are all just fine, than you are blessed too, and I wish you continued happiness and a happy day today. If you are a mother who is estranged from your child, there is always tomorrow, and there is hope, and you just never know, God bless you and keep up the hope as you keep up the love.

As children of someone, we all remember mom, she is OUR mother, so we respect and love her. If she passed, then we know just how important this day is. Don’t make it a day of tears, but of celebration that God thought it fit that she ever walked the earth, and gave birth.

And to all moms out there, look around you if possible and count your blessings.


I wrote this blogue on February 4th, 2009, I think it still stands true. Go to:

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I visited Dr. Haveaheart the other afternoon, and he was nothing if not gloomy. The carotid artery is 50% blocked and I’m heading soon downhill. I kind of knew that all along and I can honestly tell you that that is the breaks. Being a cholesterol machine, I know what will take place. How soon I don’t know, and frankly, don’t care.

Stroke looms large in my future and I can’t imagine what that is going to be like, but that too is the breaks. Maybe TLW (The Little Woman) can sit me in the garden next to vegetable plants with names on little posts, mine saying ‘Joe’ or 'DelBloggolo'.

Some time ago, when I had the by-pass and started this blogue, I promised that whatever would happen to me I would report, at least so you as a reader could get the experience without the pain. That still holds true. I’m not going to hide from it, not going to deny it and certainly not going to give in to it. But don’t feel bad for me, I don’t. I have been blessed with good friends, a great wife and family. There is nothing I can wish for more. Life is only so long for all of us before it is indeed: “so long’”.

So now he is asking for more tests to be conducted over the next three months. Why I don’t understand, but it IS something to do to get my mind off of it. He asked about pains in the arm and legs and back, things like that, but again, that’s his job. He’s even getting the blood results from Dr. Strangeglove!

If one morning you don’t find the blogue up, that is the brakes also. But that will mean that I finally thanked you for reading, even once in a while, because I do everyday.

I know there are operations and medications and blood thinners and all the crap that they use on one with this situation, but I wonder how much I’ll want to tolerate. As it is, I don’t want any extraordinary measures, they can pull the plug, collect the insurance money and throw a party, a nice party.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Yes, that magical time of the year when I see not one but two doctors. One is Dr. Haveaheart my cardiologist, and one is my GP, Dr. Strangeglove!

Now that I have gotten older, I need to see doctors to keep myself alive. They need to see me to pay their mortgage and vacations and college plans for their kids. The Cardiologist is young, inexperienced and has all his hair, obviously very annoying. The other doctor is my age, cranky, opinionated and getting a paunch, we can relate.
Dr. Strangeglove

TLW (The Little Woman) has our insurance policy encased in a glass case in the wall, with a sign that reads: “In case of emergency, break glass”. Good to know she is well prepared!

I really don’t mind the visits so much as the waiting in the waiting rooms, watching old people come and go and get older waiting, knowing I’m getting there! I don’t like to read magazine articles in waiting rooms because I know that WWII has been over for a while, that General Eisenhower’s interview is kind of passé, and I hate it when they don't pronounce my name correctly.
Dr. Haveaheart

If I bring a book, the doctor will ask what I’m reading like it will cause high blood pressure or have too many calories. I try not to lie about exercise, but he keeps asking the wrong questions. My idea of exercise is different from his. Do you realize how many times I get up out of my chair? And step climbing, do you realize how many steps I have in my house?

So, I will report on these two visits, one this afternoon and one in a few days. Good luck to the doctors.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Today is Mom’s birthday. She is indeed 94, and sharp as a tack.

Reaching her age and knowing what she does, all the things she lived through and did for her children is remarkable. Maybe someday I will sit down and write about it, but now, she is still making history.

When I think about what a scooch I was as a child, with sisters in my world, and being the only boy, I was bound to get into trouble with mom. I think the secret to her longevity is exercise. She would chase me with her wooden spoon and this would usually occur around the dining room table for some reason. It was my turf, it had a great escape route nearby (a long deep narrow closet that I could hide deep into) and it also had the exit to the apartment on the opposite side of the room.


This was sound advice she was giving me, as I took off with her in hot pursuit!

Of course it wasn’t always a wooden spoon, sometimes it was a cake, or cupcake she made, maybe a pudding, and almost always a laugh. She did find me amusing at times, but she was always a pushover in the end.

Mom was a great cook. I never saw her with a recipe book; she cooked out of her memory and still does. She could bake, cook, knit, love and hit, a five-tool mom so to speak. She had it all.

Mom was slow though, as my sisters would complain to me that she took forever to shop with, even in her younger days. Maybe that is why she is still going. I took advantage of her lack of speed around the dining room table, but her reflexes, especially with the spoon were very good.

Many years later, when I was working and had a high-pressured job, late in the afternoons, I would shut my door and no secretary assistant or colleague would bother me. I would hear little bits of laughter coming from behind my door, and there was this one woman who sounded just like Mom when she laughed, I would sit back and take the moment to think of Mom.


No Pets Allowed

Two buddies were out for a Saturday stroll.  One had a Doberman and the other had a Chihuahua.  As they sauntered down the street, the guy with the Doberman said to his friend, "Let's go over to that restaurant and get something to drink."
The guy with the Chihuahua said, "We can't go in there.  We've got dogs with us."
The one with the Doberman said, "Just follow my lead." They walked over to the restaurant and the guy with the Doberman put on a pair of dark glasses and started to walk into the restaurant.
The waiter at the door said, "Sorry, Mac, no pets allowed."
The man with the Doberman said, "You don't understand.  This is my Seeing-Eye dog."
The waiter said, "A Doberman pinscher?"
The man said, "Yes, they're using them now.  They're very good."
The waiter said, "OK then, come on in."
The buddy with the Chihuahua figured he'd try it too so he put on a pair of dark glasses and started to walk into the restaurant.  He knew his story would be a bit more unbelievable.  Once again the waiter said, "Sorry, pal, no pets allowed."
The man with the Chihuahua said, "You don't understand.  This is my Seeing-Eye dog."
The waiter said, "A Chihuahua?"
The man with the Chihuahua said, "A Chihuahua?!?  A Chihuahua?!? They gave me a Chihuahua??