Archive for the ‘Journal’ Category

10/21/2021 50 Things I Love   Leave a comment

A few weeks ago I supplied you with a list of fifty things that annoyed me. That was a modified list of The 100 Things I Hate from eleven years ago. Now I’m going to do the same thing to The list of 100 Things I Love. After closely reviewing my old list I was able to eliminate half of the items. It wasn’t an easy job and I have a feeling I’ll be taken to task for some of things I eliminated by friends and family alike. So be it. Here’s my revised list of the Fifty Things I Love, but be warned all of you nitpicker’s out there. This new list can be updated without notice and you might just be eliminated the next time around. Here they are . . .

licking the hairs at the base of a woman’s spine, kids laughing, people watching, sex in the morning, small breasts, reading anything, being naked in the morning, real coffee, lucy my cat, the ocean, getting oil massages, watching your lips on me, honesty, medium-sized breasts, skinny-dipping, truth, large breasts, girl watching, pretty feet, computer games, my better half, , orgasms anytime, huge breasts, BJ’s at night, masturbation-alone or with a friend, being naked in the afternoon, old friends, making out in the back seat of a car, all animals, sloppy tongue-sucking kisses, snow, BJ’s in the morning, movies that make you cry, making you laugh, juicy fantasies, growing herbs, mom and dad, sculpting, painting, history, reading your tarot cards, creating anything, jacuzzies, deck time, blogging, writing, winemaking, grandchildren.

As a courtesy I’ll add this formal apology to all those people who were removed from the list as well as a number of things that were originally listed that I can no longer perform. No wise cracks please. You know who you are and so do I.

WHO LOVES YOU BABY?

09/26/2021 Goodbye to a Friend   3 comments

It’s 6:15 in the morning and I’m in my man-cave preparing for my day. This is a quiet time that I have every morning and in many ways it’s the best part of my day. It’s the perfect place and time for quiet meditation and self-reflection. For some reason today I have an old friend of mine on my mind who passed away about a month ago. This will be my memorial to him.

We worked together over forty years ago for six years and when the company that we worked for went into bankruptcy we went our separate ways. At some point we reconnected and became the best of friends for the next thirty-five years. We never saw each other in person again, but e-mailed regularly. He was quite a character and anytime I’m writing a blog I think of him because over the years he must’ve written twenty-five novels worth of information and sent it to me. We talked about everything, family, friends, jobs, and anything that demanded our attention for analysis and sarcastic comments. He had one helluva a sense of humor.

All those years ago when we were still young enough to be concerned about what women thought about us, we were in a bar in Brockton, Massachusetts having a cold one or two or three. He’d been chatting up a young lady for about twenty minutes when he excused himself to make a restroom visit. I eased on down the bar next to the young lady and began to talk to her myself. I bluntly asked her, “What do you think of my friend?”, and she just started laughing and giggling. She said he’s really so damn funny and so smart, he’s kind of like an “Ugly Burt Reynolds”. That got me laughing hysterically and I used that term against him for the next thirty-five years. It just never stopped being funny and just as an aside, he never got the girl either.

We talked on the phone three or four times a year but we e-mailed at least four times a week. I know all about his family, his friends, his granddaughter, and all of those little things that friends share. I looked forward to hearing from him everyday and there’s now a real void in my life since he’s passed. We always had an agreement that if something happened to either of us we make arrangements for someone to contact the other to let them know. Neither of us ever did that. He assured me every time we communicated whether it was written or orally that he was “Still Vertical”. Almost every e-mail he sent me started with those two words and it became a “thing”.

There were so many days when he sent me funny, crazy, and interesting emails. We covered every subject you could possibly think of. Two months ago I went for three days without any contact with him at all. I knew he’d been sick and had been moved to a care center because of his age and frailty. I had no communication information for his family and had never talked to or met any of them. I was forced to go online into the Kansas City, Missouri area and run a search for recent deaths. That’s how I found out my friend was gone. My long Internet friendship was finally over. He was no longer “Vertical”.

It’s a sad commentary but a fact of life in these days of social media and Internet relationships. We all must adapt to our new circumstances. Thanks for reading this and just so you know:

I’M STILL VERTICAL

RIP PARK

09/25/2021 No Ethic is as Ethical as the Work Ethic   Leave a comment

My father was what I always considered a force of nature. He was big, strong, and opinionated, and never feared to speak his mind to anyone. My family on both sides of the tree were blue-collar immigrants to the United States and settled in western Pennsylvania. At that time the area was a maze of coal mines, steel mills, glass plants, and chemical factories. My grandfathers, uncles, and my father worked the mills and mines and were my role models. All of my friends fathers were the same and as kids we watched them march off to the mines and mills every day at 5 AM to return filthy and exhausted at 6 PM or later. Family was everything and taking care of them was every adults priority.

I was about seven when my father’s union went on strike. He didn’t receive unemployment insurance only a small stipend from the unions strike fund. The strike was mean and nasty and seemed to go on forever. My father was forced to find a part-time job to bring enough money home to pay for the basics. There was a government surplus food program that supplied us with 10 pounds of processed cheese every couple weeks, a box of powdered milk, and containers of my all-time favorite, powdered eggs. We survived on that stuff but it was god awful.

My father found a part-time job delivering coal. He’d arrive at the mine at 5:30 AM, pick up the dump truck and a load of coal, and begin his deliveries. He worked between 10 and 12 hours a day just to make $15 a day. He would arrive at the clients home, remove sections of a metal chute from the truck and clip them together to reach the coal chute of the house. He would then tip the truck bed up and push coal down the chute and into the residence. He collected the money from the homeowner and proceeded on to the next house. At the end of the day he turned in the money at the mine and went home.

I was seven years old and I wanted to be with my dad and help him and I bugged him to death to take me to work with him. He finally agreed that a couple of times a week I’d be permitted to ride along and help. So my dad and I delivered coal throughout the neighboring communities for the duration of the strike. Him doing all the work and me trying to help. We’d get home late, filthy dirty from coal dust, and hungry enough to even eat those crappy powdered eggs.

I saw what hard work really was all about by watching my dad. He never complained and always did what was needed to take care of the family. He returned to work after the strike without bitching and complaining and never looked back. He worked for that employer for another 35 years and eventually ran the maintenance department for the entire PPG complex. He eventually took his well-deserved pension, retired, and lived out the remainder of his life a reasonably happy person.

Those memories are what created in me a good solid work ethic. It made me something of an over achiever and that stayed with me throughout my own career until my retirement a few years ago. Everyone should be so lucky to have role models like that. If they did, then the term “work ethic” would never again be a concern or a point of discussion.

HARD WORK IS ESSENTIAL FOR MENTAL HEALTH

09/14/2021 Who Doesn’t Love Sarcasm?   Leave a comment

I’ve been accused by some of being a “sarcastic SOB”. I’ve been accused by others as being sarcastic when there is no need to be. In both of these cases my attitude remains pretty much the same. “I’m sarcastic, it isn’t going to change, so get over it.” I came by my ability honestly to answer almost anything said to me with a reciprocal sarcastic reply with little or no effort. I began developing this superpower at the age of 10 and I discovered early on that I can deflect parents, adults, and bullies, with sarcasm which in turn kept me from being beaten, spanked, and bothered.09/14/2021

At first I tried to get along with my main bully, Ken Daly, but bullies won’t or can’t deal with anyone they perceive as weak. I remember clearly the first time he was introduced to my sarcastic wit. Unfortunately he was too stupid to understand sarcasm and when I told him after taking a few minutes of his abuse, “Aren’t you just the biggest, scariest, and smartest SOB in the school?” I was stunned, he was actually flattered and just couldn’t stop smiling and proceeded to strut his stuff around the schoolyard. That one statement made me his new good buddy and after two years of his kicking me around, stealing my possessions, and smacking me a few times, I was finally free to live the rest of junior high and high school without that a-hole causing me problems.

I decided then and there that using wit, sarcasm, and glib remarks were valuable tools and I should refine my use of them to become “all I could be”. If used properly along with smiles and clever conversation it can also get me laid every so often. That in itself justified all of the time and effort I put forth to becoming a virtual “sarcasm machine”.

As always when I write about things I try to research the meanings of the words I’m using. All of the intellectuals who are responsible for compiling dictionaries and encyclopedias describe sarcasm very clinically and for the most part in a negative fashion. I find that disturbingly unintellectual. While I can agree to some extent that sarcasm can be used in a mean and aggressive way, I prefer a different approach.

Sarcasm is a tool and a God-given talent but really gets no respect from academia. Viewing sarcasm only as a negative really doesn’t get to the truth of it. There are some people, highly intelligent and educated, who just don’t get sarcasm. I throw sarcasm into a conversation for good reason. It allows me to gauge who understands my humor and those who don’t. For those who don’t I am forever grateful. I in turn use them to entertain the ones who are understanding me. I try not to be disrespectful during these occasions because I never want to be perceived as mean or rude. I like a lot of laughter in my life and when people around me don’t bring anything to the table, it’s up to me to create some and I do it as often as possible. Life’s too damn short.

AND TO ALL OF YOU READERS OUT THERE, HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY

( Sarcasm Off)

Posted September 14, 2021 by Every Useless Thing in Education, Humor, Journal, Just Saying Again, Sarcasm

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08/23/2021 Female Irkism   Leave a comment

I thought I’d start this post with a word I just made up. The secret word is irkism.  It’s not a term any of you women have ever heard but its the perfect description of the effect that many of you have on us men.

Have you ever had an argument that sort of takes on a life of its own and turns into a nightmare? Just wondering is all. I think this list I’m about to write will be the post that initiates one of those arguments for me. I sat quietly for years and listened to; men are this and they do that, and women are better and we’re not emotional humps, you get the idea. They’re permitted to say almost anything they please knowing we men aren’t likely to say much in return if we ever hope to have sex again. It’s time for us men to stand up and be counted. Here’s my top-ten list of women’s traits that have irked me for decades. They’re in no particular order of importance and for testicular safety they are not all about my better-half. That disclaimer should keep me safe for a while.

1. Overuse of lotion, perfumes, and any other liquids that will make them soft, smooth, and seemingly younger. It’s a wonder they don’t slip and slide right out of the bed.

2. The wearing of fake eyelashes, nails, and hair extensions. It makes me afraid to grab hold of anything. It might just come off in my hand.

3. Hogging the blankets and pillows. I have four pillows on my bed as well as a sheet and comforter. I often wake up, especially, in the winter and find I have no pillows, one-half the sheet, and about one-third of the comforter.

4. PMS related temper tantrums. There were times when I turned and scampered away to avoid a potential problem. Thank god those days are over for us.

5. Constant over-talking. I guess their rule is that guys must be good listeners at all times but women, not so much. Not very nice.

6. Forcing us to lie to them. Does my ass look too big in this dress? Is this hair color a good fit for me? Don’t you just love these shoes? OMG

7. TV Hogs. If I have to watch or listen to anymore of Dancing With the Stars, American Idol, The Voice, or any and all romantic comedies, just shoot me now!

8. Cell phone courtesy. If we get a phone call they’ll be sure to stand nearby and talk as loud as possible so we have to shout to be heard. Of course when they get a call we’re forced to shut everything down so as not to interrupt. Everyone knows their calls are more important than ours.

9. Trash in my car. Unfortunately I have door pockets in my car. I made the mistake of cleaning out the passenger side pocket a week ago. It was unbelievable. I found hand lotion, sanitizer, face cream, old receipts, gum wrappers, and three packets of hot sauce and ketchup. There were a few other things but I’m too depressed to go on.

10. Coupons. Don’t even get me started on this subject. I’ll say no more than that.

I feel soooooooooo much better now that I’ve gotten all of these gripes off my chest but only until she reads this post.

I AM MAN, HEAR ME ROAR

08/22/2021 Olfactory Time Travel   Leave a comment

I hear people talking all the time about how a certain song takes them back. I’ve had that experience on many occasions myself and it’s enjoyable and comforting for just an instant. Music can be a trigger to the past for some but I find that my sense of smell works better for me. A certain smell can capture me and move me to a different time and place. It can be so vivid to a specific incident that I can close my eyes and see the exact spot, smell the exact smells, and see the people who were there. It’s an amazing transition and it usually happens when I least expect it.

If I pick up a baseball glove in Walmart, the smell of the leather sends me back in 1955 as I was driving with my father to my first Little League practice. Interestingly enough Elvis Pressley was singing Heartbreak Hotel on the radio at the time.

Over the years I’ve frequently spent time on shooting ranges to stay proficient with my pistol. On certain wet and rainy days coupled with the smell of gunpowder, takes me immediately back to the summer of 1968 and my time in the Korean DMZ for the Army. I still break out in a cold sweat because it seems so damn real.

There’s one other memory I’d like to recall but I do so cautiously. My father was something of a farting professional. He enjoyed nothing better than to take me food shopping with him which was always a bit embarrassing for me. He was a phantom farter who would leave SBD’s in an aisle and then walk to an adjacent aisle to enjoy the reactions. I can’t tell you on how many occasions I was blamed for being the culprit as he hid laughing hilariously nearby. Still after all these years if I smell a fart in any food store I automatically think of my Dad.

How about the smell of Jean Nate. My first real tongue-on-tongue kiss was done to the smell of Jean Nate. It was 1961 and we were at the Friday night dance at St. Ladislaus Church. We kissed briefly in the alley behind the church and believe me it was memorable. Unfortunately for me my mother came to love Jean Nate a year of so later which created a lot of confusion for me. That smell still takes me back to that alley for that incredible kiss but I keep thinking my mother’s sneaking around somewhere and will unexpectedly show up. It’s a little disconcerting and a major distraction to a wonderful memory. By the way Kathy G., it still remains a wonderful kiss.

So for those of you who are moved by music, and those of us who are moved by smell, we’re the lucky ones. I fear there are many people out there who aren’t moved by much of anything. Links to their past are either too painful to relive and they’ve blocked them or they just don’t care at all.

I LOVE OLFACTORY TIME TRAVEL

08/16/2021  Ten Year Anniversary   Leave a comment

Good morning readers. I just wanted to let everyone know I’m within two weeks of celebrating my tenth year of blogging which I think requires me to do an honest review of myself. I have to admit it’s been a real learning experience but one I wouldn’t change for anything. I never decided to blog because I thought I had all the answers or that my philosophy of life was of any interest to anyone but me. I blog primarily to keep myself sane. Blogging is a good way for me to vent and lower my blood pressure all at the same time.  I especially enjoy reading the feedback even if it’s discourteous, rude, or off-color.  It’s called freedom of speech.

I initially blogged about personal stories of my life but found out very quickly that family and friends dislike notoriety. From that point on I made sure to never mention names or to post any family members photographs.

I then moved into politics and voiced my opinions rather loudly and pointedly. It helped me to quickly discover that most blog surfers are of the “sound bite” generations. My goal then became writing a variety of articles that would keep readers reading to the end. It involved a mix of politics, humor, sarcasm, trivia, and whatever else I could find. I’m interested in anyone who really wants to take the time to read every word, think about it for a while, and then comment with a yea or nay. I’m not looking for approval just honest and open discussions and opinions.

After my interest in political blogging waned I decided to return to writing about personal stories from my past. It seemed the best way to go if I wanted to increased traffic. It also seemed that I wasn’t the only person fed up with politics and politicians. I love embracing change and have done so many times over the years. An old quote I heard many years ago still holds true today: “the greatest opportunities are found on the edge of chaos”.

I have a rather loyal following of readers who’ve stayed with me through my cancer diagnosis, surgeries, and a year of little or no blog postings. I’d like to thank them all for their continuing interest and support. It made returning to this blog a much easier transition than I had ever hoped for. Thanks again.

 

08/14/2021 The Art of Bird Throwing   Leave a comment

As we’re all aware this last year-and-a-half with the pandemic has changed many things, some for the better and some for the worse. Since the onset of the pandemic I’ve noticed a disturbing trend with female drivers in the area and I’m assuming that it’s pretty much the same all across the country. I’ve mentioned in past posts that common courtesy is one of the victims of the pandemic and I need to take that one step further. It seems that many female drivers have taken to “flipping the bird” with a vengeance. I’ve seen teenage girls, old ladies, soccer moms, and just about everyone else getting with the program. Needless to say it sparked my curiosity which then required a little research into my archives about the practices of “throwing the finger” and here’s what I found.

SOME HISTORY OF THE BIRD

Tossing the bird has been a tradition with us men that has been passed down through the ages from grandfathers to fathers and then to their sons. Guys have been throwing the finger for a variety of reasons for as long as I can remember. We owned this gesture until the feminists arrived. Now the ladies have every right to be as obnoxious as we’ve been and believe me their certainly doing it with panache and gusto.

Thrusting up a middle finger or “flipping the bird” is one of the more familiar hand gestures across this country. Its popularity is also worldwide and has been around for a very long time in a number of European countries. No one is sure how it originated but we all know that the Romans used it at the time of Christ.

Just as there are many gestures in the world to convey one’s negative feelings about another, there are also regional differences to show approval. Men around the world have several gestures to imply that a woman is pretty. In the United States, men lift their eyebrows, in the Arab world a man grabs his beard, while in Greece he would stroke his cheek. In Italy, a man sticks his finger into his cheek and rotates it, Frenchmen kiss their fingertips, and Brazilians will pretend to hold up a telescope to their eye.

Obviously, almost any gesture can have meaning, either positive or negative, somewhere in the world. So the next time you travel abroad, be careful how you gesture with your hands. You might unwittingly attract unwanted attention from the natives, especially in the Middle East. They seem to look for any spoken word or gesture by a non-Arab as a reason to throw you into prison for a chat or to just execute you.

In my attempt to be fair I’ve also seen a few men with some unfortunate habits. While I myself would never today do something so crude. In my youth I may have lost control a few thousand times. I deeply regret those times when I “birded” nice old ladies or a few hundred clergymen. It really is nice to see that the female of the species now has the capability and the mindset to throw the bird to damn near anybody for damn near any reason. “I Am Woman” hear me roar.

And thanks to whoever placed that Ryan Gosling GIF on the net. It made my day.

08/12/021 Harvest Time   2 comments

Needless to say we here in New England love the Fall. It’s harvest time for most crops but especially cucumbers which we wait for all year. This is pickle season for those of us who love hot pickles. I don’t mean just spicy hot, I mean hot enough to make your head sweat. My better half and I make pickles every year at this time because the demand for them is high with friends and family. Our time yesterday was spent making 15 pints of hot Bread & Butter pickles and 9 additional pints of smoking hot dill pickles. These pickles are made with our family recipes but we add the additional heat. We add a mixture of sliced jalapenos, serranoes, and my all time favorite, habaneros. Here’s how we get started.

Our preparation actually starts the night before with the slicing of many cucumbers. My better half usually handles that chore because she cuts a much more uniform slice than I do. She also handles slicing the hot peppers because in past years I’ve almost blinded myself by putting my bare hands near my eyes after forgetting to wear gloves.

First we get our lids, rims, and jars sterilized in boiling water. Then we mix a concoction of herbs and spices to make what we call the syrup that will do the actual pickling. We also add three large bottles of jalapeno vinegar which I made earlier this Spring. Just a friendly tip if you’re going to make hot pickles . . . wear thick rubber gloves. Not those flimsy latex gloves because the oils from the hot peppers migrate right through the latex. Once it gets on your bare hands you’re in trouble.

It’s really not a difficult process once you’ve done it a few times. We completed this entire job in 2 hours minus the preparation done the previous day. When you have a good product people want it which is why we have a long list of folks waiting for these pickles. In a normal year we’ll process 35 to 40 pints of a variety of pickles. Then we can get started with our hot pasta sauces, BBQ sauce, salsa, chili, and wing sauces.

It really is a lot of fun and will keep our family and friends well supplied until Spring. You should give it a try.

07/27/2021  Post Pandemic Courtesy   Leave a comment

Being the cynical bastard that I am and having less love for our human race than most, makes this topic concern even me.  Most of my life and career has been involved with close personal communications (interviews and interrogations) with hosts of diverse individuals. I’ve been able thanks to years of training and experience to read them exceeding well, hence my overall dislike of so many. Granted a majority of people come across in a good way but once pressures and stresses are introduced to the mix, all of the negative reactions become easily recognizable.  My educated guess is that the best people are those with a much stronger control of their basic instincts.  I can’t blame the negatives on emotion alone because we all deal with them equally. 

The Pandemic has brought us all to the emotional edge in a number of ways through intense worry and fear. It’s interesting in the extreme to recognize both the good and the bad effects and who handles them the best.  I won’t even try to explain the negative behaviors of people whose lives are completely consumed by politics and the media.  They come to this discussion already biased and flawed.  Then we have the medical professionals and first responders who as they always do show us the way things should be done.  Compassion, caring, and fearlessness are their norm.  A few bad apples have been observed through this horrible period but overall we as a people owe them praise and thanks. Fortunately the negative and selfish people with concerns only for their personal agendas are easily and quickly identified. I’m not here to name names but you already know who they are if your paying the least bit of attention.

I fear that the pressure of death, serious financial ruin, job loss, and long periods of isolation have begun to take their toll on all of us.  I’ve noticed in recent weeks the edginess of ordinary citizens doing ordinary things and showing a total loss of patience for each other in a mean and nasty way. All that tells me is that the Pandemic is having a much deeper and long-term harmful effect than I first thought.  Returning to the new normal still requires a huge change for all of us from the old normal. We humans are not big fans of change, large or small.  This intolerance for each other will hopefully wan as time goes on but who knows for sure. We’ve been told for more than a year now to stay the hell away from each other or else. Some of the incidents I’ve observed lately fill me with doubt that there is a short term solution. We must all wait and see and then do what we can to help remedy this confusing situation.

As always I will remain the pragmatic cynic.

That being said its now time for a little humor. Anyone who follows this blog knows of my deep appreciation for really erotic limericks. I’ve delved into my archives and found this little ditty. Enjoy!

There’s a feckless young fellow named Goody

Who insists that he wouldn’t, but would he?

If he finds himself nude,

With girls in the right mood,

The question is not would he, but could he?

Surprise…it wasn’t quite as erotic or lewd as you were expecting. Next time it’ll be a doozy.

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