Monday, May 25, 2015

Decoration Day

 Not a lot of funny here.  Shouldn't be.  Sorry.  
Well, except below.
And that picture at the end is kinda funny, too.
Hey, I can't help myself.


    
NOTE:  Much of today's post isn't the result of actual, scholarly research.  Rather, it is what I remember from my education in the Connecticut public school system.  Although seven years were spent in Catholic school.  Figured I should mention that. 

"You're goddamn right you should, Mr. Penwasser.
Oops, I probably shouldn't say that.  Fuck."
   **********


Memorial Day is a day set aside on the last Monday in May to honor those who died while serving in the armed forces of the United States.  Even though well-meaning people often confuse it with Veterans Day in November (which honors all who ever served in the military), that's at least better than those who think it's nothing more than the unofficial beginning of the summer and backyard barbecue season.

NOTE:  Honestly, which it is.
    
  Originally called Decoration Day, this recognition of those who gave their lives in the American Civil War was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868, by Union General John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic.  Planned for May 30th, it drew former foes together to plant flowers and otherwise spruce up graves of war dead from North and South alike at Arlington National Cemetery.

    To be sure, women in the South were also “decorating” gravesites of their dead from the “Great Cause.”  In fact, some sources state that those practices even predated the end of the nation’s bloodiest conflict.  What’s more, some states in Dixie even had their own Decoration Days, mostly in May. 

    The “Decoration” name stuck until it officially changed to “Memorial” Day in 1967.  No matter what it was called, though, Americans throughout the nation took time out to honor those who had fallen.

    To be sure, the wars in which their country fought (both declared and, since 1941, undeclared) may not be held in the highest regard by a great many Americans.  Some of their arguments I agree with, some I do not. 

    But, those who fought and died in them?  Those we hold in reverent high regard.  Whether draftee or volunteer, they paid the ultimate sacrifice.  And even though some may view their sacrifice in vain, we cannot discount the price they paid.

     I believe heroes like this, men and women all through American history, gave their countrymen the luxury of being able to go to the beach, incinerate (in the case of my father) hot dogs on the backyard grill, and (sadly) not have a frikkin’ clue what the day is all about.

     I salute those people on this Memorial Day.

Except this guy.
This guy makes me wish it was winter.

Dedicated to my friends, CDR Bill Donovan and AW1 (NAC/AW) Joe Pycior, killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Captain Caption LXVI



"This worked for Bush last week.  
What the hell am I doing wrong here?  
Hello?  Hello?"


"Who is this?"



"Jake.  From State Farm."



"Hey, listen, I think all you have to do is speak real loud.  
These phones are pieces of crap."

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Wouldn't Expect To See This in a School Office

NOTE:  For those of you who are Facebook followers, you've already seen this.  My apologies for crossing the social media streams.  Which is sorta like what we do after drinking too many beers and going outside to the snowbank.

One of the jobs I have besides award-winning professional writer* is custodian.  It's a fast-paced profession which affords me the opportunity to interact with education professionals on a daily basis.  As I dump their trash.
Yeah.  It's as cool as that.
The other night, I happened to be cleaning the front office.  While vacuuming (which sucks, by the way.  See what I did there?), I noticed this on the shelf.



Now, I haven't a clue WTH this book was supposed to be.  Could it be an abbreviation of some sort (e.g. 'cumulative')?  Or, could it be an acronym?  If that is the case, I would call this one downright unfortunate acronym.

I supposed I could have examined the binder more closely,  but there was no way I was going to touch it without rubber gloves.

Because, if it meant what I was afraid it meant, that thing was downright unsanitary.

"I told Monica buying that book was a bad idea!"

*Technically true.  I have won an award (not much) and I have gotten paid (certainly not much). 

But, hey, if you feel like pissing your money away...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Captain Caption LXV


"Ya know, for a minute there, I thought that damn Penwasser forgot all about doing  Captain Captions anymore.  But, then Biden told me he was doing the A-Z Challenge and just took a break for a month.  Now, I have a look and I'm back!!
Any suggestions how I should deal with that little jerk?"
"Who is this?"

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

To all you mothers out there (ooh, that doesn't sound right at all), I'd like to wish you a very Happy Mother's Day!

NOTE:  Try not to dwell on the fact that Mother's Day is merely a ploy generated by the greeting card and flower industry to wrest more money out of us.  Just go with the sentiment.

I'd especially like to wish my mother a very Happy Mother's Day.  Provided heaven subscribes to Penwasser Place, that is.  A wonderful woman who had the disadvantage of living with a man who made Archie Bunker look like Alan Alda and having me as a son, she was tragically taken from us on June 21, 1983 at the impossibly young age of 44.
Yeah.  I was a handful.
Even then.
I think it was the hair.
Yes, the good die young.

Dad, on the other hand, lived until he was 76.  Sooooo....

"No, I will not pull your finger!"

Even then.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Barbary Apes


  The following is an excerpt from my book It's An Adventure, a tale of life aboard the aircraft carrier, USS America (I'm sure you already knew that.  Goodness knows I haven't shut my mouth about it since I started writing it).  I'm sure that this, along with the entire book, will undergo significant revision before I inflict the general public with it in time for Christmas shopping!  Because, let's face it, nothing says you don't care for someone more than thrusting some cheesy memoir on them.
  But, this will give you a first look at the rough draft.  Plus, there's pictures.  So, you have that going for you.  Which is nice. 
  Anyway, this is a story of the Barbary Apes (you may have gathered that from the title) and is the prelude to when we actually convinced someone to keep a watch out for a monkey attack.  Yeah, no kidding.
  What happens?  Well, you'll have to buy the book.  Or let one of your friends with a parrot let you read the bottom of their bird cage.
  The gist of this is true (much like most of the historical pabulum I write). 


It's An Adventure is a sequel to this hideous triumphant ego trip opus.
Now available on Amazon!
Now.  And forever.


***********
11 APR
Strait of Gibraltar

"Okay, so I don't have a tail.
But, you just see if I can't hit you right in the kisser
with a lump of poop as big as your head." 
     The Barbary Apes had been on the Rock of Gibraltar since long before anyone could remember. 

     Despite the fact they are called “apes” (much like those in the Deck Department) and the fact they do not possess tails (much like those in the Deck Department.  As far as we know), they are actually monkeys.  More specifically, they are “macaques” and are the only wild monkey population in Europe.

"Because, hey, isn't history after white people
arrived the only kind which matters?"
     Where they came from is anyone’s guess.  What is certain is that they were there when the British first garrisoned (aka "took over") Gibraltar in 1704.  DNA evidence (or a lucky guess) suggests they draw their origin from Algeria or Morocco, having been brought there as pets by the Moors.  Who apparently were too uppity to be like normal people and just get a fish or a cat.
"Hey, you can't pin this on my family.
Besides, we were too busy eating monkey fritters.
And, it's spelled with an 'e'."
     Another theory, long since disproved, is that the monkeys were part of an overall simian population during the European Ice Age.  Fossil evidence of monkeys inside mammoth footprints would suggest this could be possible.  However, learned scientists were quick to supply taped conversations with monkeys denying this connection.

    As far as those fossils?  Slow-moving Frenchmen.    

"You know, I could have sworn I heard 'Mon Dieu!'"
     Legend has it that, as long as there are macaques on Gibraltar, the British will remain on “The Rock.”  In fact, when the macaque
Churchill even tried Peebles Pet Shop, but sadly, he only had a gorilla for sale.  
I wonder how many of you will get this.  
Trust me.  I think it's kinda funny.


population dipped during World War II (rumors suggest they worked as spies for the Vichy French), Winston Churchill ordered that their numbers be replenished from forest fragments in Algeria and Morocco.  





"Seriously, is that all it would have taken?
And you never told me!?"
     When informed of this legend, Spanish dictator Francisco Franco had his advisors shot.  And then set out monkey traps.  Which, as everyone knows, never works if you don't use proper monkey bait.

NOTE:  I have no idea if there is such a thing.  Sorry.  You think comedy is easy?



    The Strait of Gibraltar, at its narrowest point, is 7.7 nautical miles wide.

     So, it was only natural to fear a seaborne assault on passing ships by hordes of pirate monkeys.   
Hey, it could happen.
No, wait, this is a chimp.
Never mind.
To be continued (In "It's An Adventure."  What?  You think I'm just gonna give this thing away?  I'm still trying to pay off that Mercedes I bought, expecting sales of Shag Carpet Toilet to go through the roof).
Hurry now while...yadda, yadda, yadda...yeah, you know the drill

Monday, May 4, 2015

A-Z Reflections




    The 2015 A-Z Challenge has come and gone (actually, it was over Thursday, but I had a lot of goofing around to do this weekend).  Arlee Bird, founder of the blogging marathon, suggested we pen (or, more accurately, computer) a Reflections Post wherein we list everything we learned from bashing old and new followers alike throughout April (with time off on Sunday for good behavior).

    As you know, I chose to write a Haiku for every letter of the alphabet.  Oh, good grief and Uncle Willy, if you don't know that by now, where have you been?  Unless you're brand new to Penwasser Place.  In that case, welcome.  And may I suggest you review the past month for a moving tribute to Gary Coleman starring a Coleman cooler?

    Anyway, what did I learn?  In no certain order (mostly because I don't feel like doing the work of putting anything in a certain order).....

1.  Writing Haikus is hard.  And writing haikus while hard is pert near impossible.
2.  Actually, writing haikus isn't especially difficult (none of that hard nonsense).  Five syllables, followed by seven syllables, followed by five more syllables.  Find an appropriate picture-VOILA! (NOTE:  Snooty French word for Ta Da!), put on delayed post, and read posts from talented Bloggers.  Ta Da!
3.  But, conversely, making these haikus funny is kinda hard challenging.  I hope I succeeded in that regard.  Except for that ISIS one.  That wasn't meant to be funny.  And the ones which had my picture in them.  I was kinda skeeved by them, too.
4.   Cherdo and I share the same musical tastes.  I'm not sure this is a good thing, from her perspective.  But, I always enjoyed visiting the musical artists she presented (well, their songs anyway).  They made me nostalgic for the days of polyester clothing, brown hair, and the girl who broke my heart.  That bitch.  NOTE:  Cherdo is not the girl who broke my heart.
5.  I don't know how Pat Hatt does it, day in and day out.  I write twenty-six loser haikus and I'm bushed.  Oh, there's that talented blogger thing again.
6.  I learned more about Martha Stewart than I ever care to learn ever again.  Thanks, Robyn!
7.  Gary Coleman is definitely dead.
8.  I learned a LOT about Texas from Joanne.  No wonder I want to go there.  Yee ha!
9.  I learned that I'd like to drink a beer with Bushman.
10.  I'd also like to drink a beer with Jenny...and Julie...oh, hell, I'd like to drink a beer with any of you.
11.  I was very happy to see the return of Elsie and Mich.  Thanks, ladies!  Are you sure you want to stick around?
12.  Birgit knows a lot of depressing Hollywood stories.  But, I loved learning about them.
13.  Ruth is much more talented than she gives herself credit.  That she is one of my followers casts doubts on her sense of judgement and good taste, though.
14.  Reading and commenting on everyone's posts is a lot of work!  Good thing I don't have a job.
15.  I wish I had half the energy of Manzi.  And all of her good looks.
16.  The picture of Joe Biden at the window?  Comedy gold!
17.  Stephen?  He's a talented writer and artist!  Me?  I'm a talen...okay, I can't make that hold up.
18.  I hope I never do anything to get me in the news because Chris will tell you about it.  Unless I tell you first.  I'm goofy that way.
19.  Like the one of the VP, that picture of Richard Simmons?  Comedy gold!
20.  The only problem with doing the A-Z Challenge is that my hands are tied with commenting on breaking events.  Like, did you know that some people give Kim Kardashian a chance at being president?  They'd have to bulldoze the Oval Office to make room for her keister.  But, it would be funny to call it the "Kanye West Wing."
21.  Speaking of, Bruce Jenner says he's a woman.  Which is more than Chaz Bono can say.  
22.  MORE Comedy Gold!  That picture of Gary, Christian, and the fellas strutting about in their tightey-whiteys.
23.  Adam has forgotten more than I'll ever know.  But-and I kow he's probably explained this-what the hell is a Neko Random?
24.  I'll more than likely meet none of you.  This is a good thing from your perspective.
25.  I am positive I've missed more than a few of you.  Please accept my apologies.  And a canned ham.
26.  The "strikethrough" feature kicks butt!
27.  It's a good thing Xerxes lives in Persia because, the way he's dressed, he'll catch his death of cold.
28.  Check that.  Moot point.  Xerxes is dead. 
29.  Many of you never heard of Q-Bert.  That's okay.  Because Q-Bert kinda sucked.
30.  Julie Garcia juggles more balls than a circus full of clowns.  Or a urologist.  Well, now, that's an unfortunate image.
31.  Apparently, when I die, I can have my ashes put in a dildo.  That way, Mrs. Penwasser will be reminded of me.  But, if it's bigger than a chapstick, she'll know it's all a sham.
32.  Mark is my favorite Englishman.  And is the one responsible for getting me to publish on Create Space!
33.  Typing in all these links is a lot of work.  Thank goodness about that job thing.  Please click on and patronize these fine bloggers.  They deserve your business because they're that good.  And they deserve your pity because I follow them.
34.  And finally (yay)...
When Writing Haikus
The One Line You Can Count On
OH NO, GODZILLA!
"You're right, Al!
My Godzilla really does suck!"
Thanks for visiting!  
Penwasser Place will be back in a few days! 

By all means, click on Diana Ross and the Supremes' version of Reflections.
Gotta be better than this one.


Okay, upon further review, it looks like the video probably won't play.  
But, 
you can find it on You Tube.  It really is quite good.  Cherdo would be proud.


Epilogue...