Archive for the ‘Just Saying’ Category

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

09/21/2021 Oskar Schindler Remembered   Leave a comment

Today is not just a day of remembrance for me but for the descendants of nearly 1200 Jews saved from death at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Oskar Schindler died at the age of 66 in 1974. Being a member of the Nazi party made it possible for him to bribe officials and obtain forged documents. He placed himself and his family at mortal risk and when it was all said and done he was penniless.

As a member of the Nazi Party, he ran an enamel-works factory in Krakow during the German occupation of Poland, employing workers from the nearby Jewish ghetto. When the ghetto was liquidated, he persuaded Nazi officials to allow the transfer of his workers to the Plaszow labor camp, thus saving them from deportation to the death camps. In 1944, all Jews at Plaszow were sent to Auschwitz, but Schindler, at great risk to himself, bribed officials into allowing him to keep his workers and set up a factory in a safer location in occupied Czechoslovakia. By the wars end, he was penniless, but had saved 1200 Jewish lives.

In 1962, he was declared a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official agency for remembering the Holocaust. According to his wishes, he was buried in Israel at the Catholic cemetery on Mt. Zion.

SOME PREOPLE SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN

09/18/2021 Kennedy & Lincoln   Leave a comment

I’ve collected a large amount of miscellaneous information over the years and have saved only a small percentage of it. I only keep things that are interesting to me and a little unusual. Many of you may have seen the following information in the past in one form or another but many have not. Since it’s a lazy day here in Maine I’m sending this along for your amusement and also because of my inability to motivate myself this morning. These facts are truly strange and go well beyond the level of coincidence. Read on and enjoy some gruesome American history.

  • Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
  • John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
  • Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860.
  • John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960.
  • The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contains seven letters.
  • Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
  • Both wives lost children while living in the White House.
  • Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
  • Both Presidents were shot in the head.
  • Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy.
  • Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln.
  • Both were assassinated by Southerners.
  • Both successors were named Johnson.
  • Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
  • Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
  • John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.
  • Both assassins were known by their three names.
  • Both names were composed of 15 letters.
  • Lincoln was shot at the theater named Ford.
  • Kennedy was shot in a car called Lincoln.
  • Booth ran from a theater and was caught in a warehouse.
  • Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.
  • Booth and Oswald were both assassinated before their trials.

And here’s the kicker

  • A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.
  • A week before Kennedy was shot, he was in Marilyn Monroe.

THAT LUCKY BASTARD

09/09/2021 Americas Lack of Culture   3 comments

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time bitching and complaining about the pop culture nonsense going on in this country. Now I want to address culture in its truer form. Not your highbrow, ballet, museum, and big money culture and not some idiot celebrity worshiping pop culture, but our American societies lack of a real culture. Every country on this planet has its own distinct culture from Sri Lanka to Samoa and I thought that was pretty cool but as I gave it more thought I saw the darker side of it.

America in my view hasn’t any culture of any kind that is specific to its citizens. It’s true that people clamor to come here to live in a country most of them professed to hate when they’re in their own country. Thousands arrive here every year to make a better life for themselves whether legally or illegally. That’s great for America as it always has been but then the dark side shows us its ugly face.

People fight and endure dangerous and risky journeys to taste the freedom offered here. So what do they do first. They find an enclave or cluster of others from their home country and settle into the same culture they just left. They then proceed to organize so they can bitch about how they are discriminated against here in the land of the free and then demand America change to make them feel more at home. If you really want things to be like they were in your home country than you probably should have stayed there to begin with. But again, where is America’s culture?

Are we just Eastern Europe on steroids. Multiple cultures living on top of each other for generations, pissing and moaning about the unfairness of it all, and just waiting for the day when everyone else will see the light and recognize that their culture is the best.

How many Chinatowns are there in this country? How many Korea towns, or German towns, or Irish neighborhoods, do we have? What is America’s culture? I’m having a real problem trying to recognize it because I firmly believe there is none. America’s freedoms are a great draw for the downtrodden and politically persecuted from around the world. I get that, but so what? They bring with them all of their BS and problems and then expect us to change our way of thinking. I’m not painting all immigrants with a broad brush. I understand there are some who make the changeover easily, learning the language, and moving on with their new American lives. If you were to move anywhere else on the globe it would be expected of you to learn the language there. I don’t see any country except the US that even worries about such things.

What I am demanding is that the American government do something to help create a legitimate American culture. Make the English language once and for all the official language of the United States. Instead of printing documents with 13 languages and dialects, spend that money on mandatory English-speaking classes for all those who wish to permanently relocate here.

My immigrant grandparents came here to make a new life for themselves. There was a second language spoken but it was spoken only in the home. They understood that learning English was the only way to truly become an American citizen. So what did they do? They learned the damn language. I was raised listening to German in the home for most of my early life. I thought it was cool but I knew I lived in America and that German was an old country tradition that really had no attraction to me. I was a goddamn American and proud of it.

There never will be a legitimate American culture unless something is done and soon. We know just how bad things can get like when the ethnic fighting took place in Eastern Europe after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. The first thing every ethnic groups seems to want was the death of everyone who isn’t just like them. Murder squads, rape gangs, and genocide are the three things I hope we never have the misfortune to see on the streets of America.

If these ethnic separations continue unchecked, at some point things could get awfully scary.

EVERYONE THINKS IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE

09/04/2021 Have You Found Your Balance Yet?   Leave a comment

I’d like to discuss balance. All of us are bombarded on a daily basis with terms and phrases about balance. How often are we reminded by government, TV, family, and friends about eating a balanced diet. Most religions also suggest a well-balanced lifestyle makes for a harmonious existence. It seems to be a never-ending but critically important theme.

UP/DOWN – IN/OUT – START/FINISH – STOP/GO – OUT/BACK

“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” Euripides

YIN/YANG – BEGINNING/END – LOVE/HATE – MAN/WOMAN – GOOD/EVIL

“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” Henri Matisse

RICHER/POORER – BETTER/WORSE – SICKNESS/HEALTH – PLUS/ MINUS – GAIN/LOSS

Even the scientific community is required to deal with balance because it is a universal constant. The third of Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion explains that if you push on anything, it pushes back on you. The quote “every action has an equal and opposite reaction” is part of what we are. It can’t be ignored or avoided but must be understood and used to our best advantage.

I’ve seen many unhappy people over the years who are simply out of balance. I was one of them for more than three decades. My job, career, and prestige were all I focused on but that made me totally out of balance with my personal life. Work your life and keep trying to find your balance. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do in this day and age and just so you don’t forget, money still can’t and won’t buy you happiness. I didn’t listen to the warnings back then but I wish I had.

We come into this world head first and leave feet first.

THE ULTIMATE BALANCE

09/04/2021 Get Your Sex Education Here   Leave a comment

I really love spending time on the internet. The amount of information available for viewing is mind-boggling to say the least. I stumbled onto a website recently filled with information on the sexual habits of animals which told me way more than I ever wanted to know about how insects and slimy things have sex. It did make me think, what about people? What kind of strange, dumb, or interesting things could I find out about us?

I began a diligent search to collect well-known, little-known, and quite possibly unknown facts about human sexuality. The amount of that available information was even more incredible than what I was able to find on animals. I accumulated a list of some of the things I thought were truly interesting and not just bizarre and strange. I just thought it might be fun to spice things up a little on this blog and at the same time distribute a little sexual trivia you may not have heard before. Hold your applause it may not be as good as you’re thinking.

* * *

  • During any given period, women who read romance novels have a tendency to have twice as many lovers as those who don’t.
  • -321 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which sperm banks store donor semen. At this temperature, semen can be stored indefinitely,
  • In one hour, the average sperm can swim 7 in.
  • The testes increase in size by 50% when a man is sexually aroused.
  • Hetrosexual anal sex is something 43% of women have experienced.
  • During an average man’s lifetime, he will ejaculate approximately 17 liters of semen, which amounts to about half a trillion sperm.
  • It takes two tablespoons of blood to get the average man’s penis erect.
  • The penalty for masturbation in Indonesia is decapitation.
  • 75% of Japanese women own a vibrator. The average worldwide is 47%.
  • 22% of American women aged 20 gave birth while in their teens. In Switzerland and Japan, only 2% did so.

* * *

Well there you have a collection of 10 sexual facts collected from here and there and everywhere. I have to admit I did learn a few things I didn’t previously know about our sexual proclivities and I guess that’s a good thing. I also know I would have been beheaded at age 11 if I’d been born in Indonesian. This was only a small portion of the facts I discovered. More to come . . .

BON APPETIT

09/01/2021 The Hair Wars   Leave a comment

Today I’m concentrating on hair. Not the lack of it but the overall abundance of it. I discovered as I aged with the help of certain women that hair is almost as important to them as penis size. The trends these days for men seem to be the metrosexual look, the less hair the better except of course for the hair on the head.

As I began to lose my hair a few years back I was actually traumatized by it for a while. As the hair slowly faded away a strange thing happened, I felt an odd freedom. I swore then and there I would never become that guy with a bald head and a fringe around the bottom. When the time came I didn’t hesitate to rid myself of all my head hair once and for all. No more freaking haircuts, no more hair products, and no more competing with other men for style points. I thought I was home free from hair issues but once again I was wrong.

This isn’t me . . just so you know.

Soon I met and fell head-over-heels for Miss Right. After dating for months she informed me in no uncertain terms that I had way too much hair everywhere on my body. Trust me, I’m not a very hairy guy and I thought at first she was just messing with me. I found out later she wasn’t. My ear hair was found to be too untidy and too long. My eyebrows were too bushy and too unkempt. Hair on my chest and arms needed constant trimming and I wouldn’t even mention the pubic hair discussions we had.

It became a day-to-day battle between us because the constant inspections were making my hands all sweaty. I felt like I was back in the Army. Then came the night of too much drinking, too much laughing, and too much schnapps. While under the influence of alcohol I agreed to certain hair removal requests and told her I would take care of the hair maintenance issues in the morning. And then went to bed and fell into what was a deep alcohol-induced dream-state. Upon waking in the morning I discovered that while I was dreaming she had been clipping. I was brought into the 21st century, hairless, with a whimper and not a bang.

The battle continues to this day and I have long since regrown most of the missing hair she removed that night. I did manage one act of defiance in an attempt to regain possession of my testicles. I grew a mustache and beard just to mess with her. The daily inspections continue and I guess I’ve adjusted to them as best I can. Her inspection routine was recently updated and now includes the beard and mustache, so I guess I really haven’t made much headway in the hair wars after all.

And neither is this.

I was shopping recently and observed a rather lovely young lady with three times as much hair on her arms and legs as I have. She was also showing some little dark puffs peeking out from her armpits. Maybe I’ll finally be safe if the current trends are shifting back to the 1800’s. Then my better-half will be buying me gallons and gallons of Rogaine to spread all over my long and beautiful body. I can’t wait.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE STRANGE EVEN ON THE GOOD DAYS

08/30/2021 Weekend Political Humor   Leave a comment

I’m forever slamming politicians and their ilk anything and everything I can. I feel it’s my obligation as a citizen to give them all the credit they deserve, both for good and bad. But it’s the weekend and I’m feeling less intense today and in that vein I offer some political humor from various sources. They made me smile so I stored them away for this occasion. Enjoy!

This first humorous story isn’t truly a political story but it has political implications if you read between the lines.

There’s an old sea story about a ship’s Captain who inspected his sailors, and afterward told the First Mate that his men “smelled really bad”. The Captain suggested it would help if the sailors would change underwear occasionally. The First Mate went straight to the sailors berth deck and announced the “Captain thinks you guys smell bad and wants you to change your underwear”. He continued, Phillips you change with Jones, McCarthy you change with Witkowski, and Brown you change with Schultz. The moral of this story is that someone may come along and promise change, but don’t count on things smelling any better. (Applies to all parties.)

George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, and Vladimir Putin all die and go to hell. While there, they spy a red telephone and ask what the phone is for. The Devil tells them it’s for calling back to earth. Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes. When he’s finished the Devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars, so Putin writes him a check. Next Queen Elizabeth calls England and talks for 30 minutes. When she’s finished the Devil informs her that the cost is six million dollars, so she writes him a check. George Bush gets his turn and talks for 4 hours. When he’s finished the Devil informs him that the cost is $5.00. When Putin hears this he goes ballistic and asks the Devil why Bush got to call the USA so cheaply. The Devil just smiled and replied, “Since Biden took over, the country has gone to hell, so it’s a local call”.

Some of you may think those two stories aren’t all that funny but get over yourself, they are. If you’re a conservative or a Republican I’m sure you enjoyed them and if your a Democrat or liberal you probably didn’t. I don’t really care. I enjoy ridiculing all politicians, regardless of their party affiliation. Just remember, this blog isn’t Fox News or MSNBC and I’m certainly not “Fair and Balanced”. I have a serious dislike for them all.

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND

08/28/2021 Spanky Asks: What’s Your Nickname?   Leave a comment

Have you ever had a nickname? Is it a nice nickname or was it a name given to you by others that was mean and nasty like Ass-Wipe, Shit-for-Brains, or Dick-Face. For some reason I was never cool enough to have a nice nickname, I was always just plain John or worse. I’ve been called just about everything at one time or another but I never could get that cool nickname like the other kids always seem to have.

I had a friend whose nickname was Chiseled-Chin and he was really proud of that name claiming it to be a complement to his genetic heritage. His whole damn family had chin’s you can hang your hat on. I guess that tells me your nickname is what you make of it. Although, if you’ve got a really nasty one (Doggy Breath, Jeannie Jaws, No-Tits) it’s damn near impossible to turn it into something positive.

Even celebrities have nicknames and we seem to buy into them immediately without question. All Sean Combs needs to do to get a new nickname is to call a press conference and proclaim it to the world, “From this day forward I’m going to be called Puff Daddy”, and then a few months later it’s P-Diddy, and God knows what his next reincarnation will bring.

Really famous Hollywood types change their names to whatever the hell they please because their actual names just doesn’t look good “up in lights”. **AND STARRING TONIGHT **, Cheryl Sarkisian and Paul Rubenfeld. That’s actually Cher and Pee Wee Herman.

Richard Nixon was Tricky-Dicky and Terry Gene Bollette is Hulk Hogan. Would you buy a rap album from someone named Earl Simmons or do you throw your money at some badass guy named DMX. Would you get excited watching Frances Grumm dancing and singing her way down the yellow brick road to meet the wizard? Not likely.

I have to admit I’ve given out my share of nicknames to people, some good and some bad. The good ones can be flattering and I use them for many of the women I’ve dated, loved, and married. Beautiful, Sexy, Slim, or Gorgeous. The bad ones were mainly for people I disliked or those who had already tagged me with some sort of insulting nickname. Fair is fair after all. I’m offering all of you who’ve never had a real nickname to visit this website: namegeneratorfun.com. You enter your name and sex and it will create a list of potential nicknames that you can choose from. My final list of possible nicknames was Square Jaw, Johnski, Spanky, and Johnzy. I think I’ll choose SPANKY because it has such multiple interesting meanings. It’s like the program knows me personally or heard about me from someone else, it’s freaking amazing. (Sarcasm off)

So this is Spanky signing off for today. I hope each of you can find that perfect nickname to make your life complete.

SINCE KEVORKIAN PASSED AWAY, DR. DEATH IS UP FOR GRABS

%d bloggers like this: