Friday, September 30, 2011

We're Experiencing Technical Difficulties

  Attention, ladies and gentlemen and all the ships at sea.....

Except I was wearing jammies
  Little did I know that, in addition to blowing shofars, Rosh Hashanah was also a day devoted to one's computer giving yours truly the old cyber-middle finger.  And here I thought it was a day meant solely for lounging about, giving Mrs. Penwasser a call at work to find out how her day was going, drinking coffee, watching bad TV, and writing on Facebook.
  Well, after reading most of your blogs, I decided to make myself lunch and take a break from arduous sloth.  As I returned to my computer,  I noticed something which looked funny.
   After moving my "paint-by-numbers" picture of a clown from in front of the monitor, I saw that it had gone completely dark.
    With the exception of a madly spinning multi-colored ball in the center of the screen.
    Knowing that wasn't any good, I did what any experienced technician would do.
    I turned the computer off, turned it back on, jiggled the power cord, felt if it was hot, smelled the back (of the computer, not the dog) of it, turned it off, turned it on, pressed that button that I didn't know the purpose of,  unplugged the keyboard, unplugged the coffeepot (unrelated-I just forgot to do it that morning), searched for the computer manual, played the handheld Yahtzee game I found while searching for the computer manual, shook the monitor to see if the ball would "go away", sobbed, and got out the yellow pages to find a computer repair person.
   The end result is that I turned over the family computer to the Geek Squad in the hopes they will be able to repair the dang thing before Christmas.
    I just know how this is gonna go:
    "Mr. Penwsser?"
    "Hi, this is Sheldon, from 'Cyber-Pirates.'  We've done a diagnosis of your machine."
    "Great.  How we lookin'?"
    "It's broke.  That'll be $99."
     In other words, I'm pretty much effed if I ever want to see the thing again.
     Surprisingly, Mrs. Penwasser decided it was time that we had a back-up computer, so off we went to Best Buy.  Where we bought a Toshiba laptop computer, most of whose keys I can't figure out.  Still, it seems to be working pretty well. 
     Gotta tell you.  Those Japanese may have a lot of problems with dinosaurs, but they sure do know how to make fantastic cars, computers, and sex robots.
     Still, it's not our (what we thought) reliable desktop Apple.  This means posts from me may be tough getting out.  I'll do the best I can to read your posts and even send along some of my own.  But, they probably won't be of the same qualty you've grown used to (NOTE:  Yes, I know I misspelled "qualitee").  In other words, they may be good.
     Posting links and pictures may be tough, though, until I figure out all the buttons.  But, I'll try.  Like this.....

I don't care, he's still good for a laugh!
    So, I'll do the best I can until I need to take out a loan to get my computer away from the likes of Sheldon.     Okay, I better take off for now. 
     I just pressed a button and the microwave turned on.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy New Year!

WARNING:  The following is a posting from a Gentile.  While written with the sincerest of intentions, its accuracy may not be  Wikipedia and Google can only do so much.  Thank you.  Enjoy.

Sometimes a horn is only a horn

   In other words, Happy Rosh Hashanah!
  For those of who haven't figured it out, Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.  Okay, maybe if you live in a Branch Davidian compound, you don't know that it's the Jewish new year.
  But, it is.
  Celebrated each year (well, I would think that would be ridiculously obvious), Rosh Hashanah is the first of the Jewish High Holidays and takes place 10 days before Yom Kippur.
  Its actual timing depends a lot on the Jewish calendar, but I do know that it can't take place on certain days of the week.  Saturday, I'm pretty sure.  Maybe Wednesday, too.  Oh, hell, I didn't take notes when I Googled it.
  All I know is that it's bloody complicated trying to figure out when it is.  But, far be it from me to come off all high and mighty.  I have no idea when Easter is.  Either in March or April, it has something to do with a full moon after a weekend-or the beginning of Spring Training-in accordance with the Farmer's Almanac.  Or Magic 8 Ball.  One of those things.
  Let's put it this way:  it's 40 days-give or take-after Ash Wednesday (which I'm pretty sure is on a Wednesday).  Which is 41 days after Mardi Gras ("Okay, you don't have to go home, but you just gotta put your clothes back on!").
  Rosh Hashanah kicks off at sunset this year on September 28th and concludes with nightfall, September 30th (Sidebar, your honor? What's the frikkin' difference between 'sunset' and 'nightfall'?).  That works out to over 24 hours o' fun, which sounded odd to me, but, remember:  Google.  

  From what I gather, it kicks off with the ritual Shofar blowing.
When told how Rosh Hashanah
actually starts,
Adam Shofar muttered, "Aw, crap!"
  Now, at first I wondered why a guy named Shofar got to have all the fun.  But, then I read further and realized a "shofar" is actually a horn from an animal.  Which can't be a cow...?  Or a dog (mostly because dogs don't have horns).  Or a chicken (because that would just be silly.  And they don't have horns, either).
  A ram is the animal of choice, I think.  Which would explain all the one-horned rams at the bargain petting zoo.
  In any case, I wish all of you a Happy Rosh Hashanah.  Whether you're Jewish or not, we all could use a holiday.  Have you seen the price of gas lately??
  After all, we only have a little over two weeks before Canadian Thanksgiving.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Read, Therefore I Comment

    So, why do we do this?
    After all, it’s not like we get scads (NOTE:  meaning “a buttload.”  Also, “a type of caragid fish.”  Personally, I’d go with “a buttload”) of money to write on Blogger.
    Oh sure, there’s always the outside chance we could be honored with Blogger of Note.  Man, that’d be sweet.  Not only would we gain the jealousy admiration of our fellow master manipulators of the written word, we’d reap a financial windfall as tons of money came pou....what?  You mean we’d get nothing?
I think one of them is straight.
Please let it be the sailor, please let it be the sailor.
    Not even fish?
    In that case, they can cram their Blogger of Note right up their Village People Welcome Wagon.  I don’t want it.
    NOTE:  This is known in the behavioral science business as “reverse psychology.”  You think they-whoever they are-bought it?    
    Okay, so nobody’s getting rich doing this.  So, I’ll ask again.  Why do we do this?
    Why do we sequester ourselves (sounds dirty, doesn’t it?) in our studies, banging away on our computer’s keyboards urgently trying to cobble together an erudite interpretation of the meaning of life?  Or why toilet seats are made in China?
    Is it because we seek solace from the harsh realities of the outside world?  Can it be a desperate search for enlightenment and inner peace?  Can I possibly add even more sentences which end in question marks?
    While I can’t speak for everyone, I know why I do it (especially since I’m restricted to doing the other “do it” only on Saturday nights).  I enjoy communicating with people from all over the world.  And New Jersey.
    Think about it.  Our forefathers were lucky if they got to speak to someone from the next town over, let alone another continent.
    “Got any feed for my hogs?”
    “Looks like rain.”
    “Okay, then, nice talkin’ to ya.  See you next month.”
    NOTE:  I could be wrong, but this may still be going on in Iowa.
    Thanks to Blogger, I can hold discussions with a number of really bright people on any number of deeply insightful topics from world economics to whether it’s going to rain on pigs in Australia.
    I also learned that “fanny” in England means “lady parts.”
    Plus, thanks to the “Stats” feature, I can also check who has visited my blog.  Clocking into first place is the United States, probably because a lot of us are out of work and we have lots of spare time.  Not surprisingly, Canada, the UK, and Australia come in strong, as well.
Oh, God, I hope it's not this guy
    But, a lot of you hail from places as widespread as China, Italy, India, Trinidad/Tobago (incidentally, are you all called Trinidadians?  Or Toboggans?), Germany, and (this kinda scares me) Iran.  Sadly, my friend from Slovenia has stopped visiting.
    Or has been arrested by the Secret Police.
    As great as seeing the United Nations on my “Daily/Now” audience block, I get a special lift from the comments you leave.  Some make me think, most make me laugh, and all make me grateful that you’ve come visiting (luckily, I have a filter set up to automatically delete all the “You suck!” comments).
    Which, after more than 500 words, brings me to the reason I’m writing this post.
    Antares Cryptos from the aptly named Antares Cryptos blog (a lot like the Nancy S. Thompson blog written by Nancy S. Thompson.  Only with a cool galaxy-Andromeda?-picture) has honored me by saying I’m a great commenter.  This without me sending any money.
The reason we're all gathered here
    Like AC, I really enjoy commenting on your posts and put some amount of thought into what I have to say.  Usually of the wise-guy variety, you can rest assured that, if I leave a comment on your blog, I tried to come up with some witty bon mot.  Or ripped it off from Reader’s Digest.
    So, I’m thinking that’s why he selected me as a great commenter.  Or, I was next alphabetically.
    In the interest of paying it forward, I, too, would like to designate a handful of you as great commenters.  Some of you have been with me for quite a while (aren’t you gluttons for punishment?) while some of you are relative newcomers (incidentally, this means I can throw in a lot of reruns.  Because they’re new.  To you.).
    The best thing about this award?  You don’t have to do a single thing about it.  You can thank me, of course.  But, hey, the only thanks I need is (are?) your continued support as I delve into the perplexities of the human condition or why I put piss cream on my feet.
    So, to make a long story short (too late), I’d like you all to have a gander (NOTE: a male goose.  Not sure if this is the right context) of those whom I consider great commenters:

SherilinR of the hilarious Laughing My Abs Off blog. As I've said before, Sherilin has been suffering longer than anyone here.  Well, except my Mom.  But, that's her job.  Even though I'm old enough to be her father (or much-older-brother-who-never-found-a-nice-girl-but-has-a-job-with-the-Post-Office-and-dresses-up-as-a-Klingon-on-the-weekend-for-fun), she never fails to leave some great words of wisdom.

Jenny from the Pearson Report always leaves fantastic comments on my blog.  Verbose and delightfully longwinded, she reminds me of me.

Robyn from Life by Chocolate always, always leaves me great comments.  Plus, she signs her comments with "xo."  I love that.  Luckily for her, she's way over on the other side of the country so we'll never meet.  So, she has that going for her.

Matthew of Matthew's Blog is one of the newcomers of which I spoke.  Not only does he always make a point to comment, he's the perfect candidate for me to send over some reruns when I don't feel like writing anything new (sorry, Sherilin).  But, I would like to know what "Yeamie Waffles" means.  Is it an English thing?  Like "fanny"?      

  Well, that's it for now. Time for me to go rustle up a buttload of caragid fish for dinner.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday, Sunday

  Inspired by the commercials for Mounds and Almond Joy candy bars, this will be super-short.  Don't have a lot of time to write today. Well, to be honest, I don't feel like writing all that much today.

Football (well, American football) is on!

Sometimes you feel like a nut

Sometimes, you don't

Friday, September 23, 2011

Game Over, Man (Complete With NOTES)

Thousands of dollars and
I can't get the kids to put paper on the roll
  This past summer, I (NOTE: By "I",  I mean Mrs. Penwasser) decided to remodel one of our bathrooms (NOTE II: "One" of our bathrooms.  A saying you wouldn't hear in the Middle Ages.  Or Mississippi).  

  We paid a crew of mouth-breathers in overalls to replace our bathtub with one which didn't have a crack in it (NOTE III: Because the only "crack" I want in my bathtub is mine) and just, for laughs (NOTE IV:  And an additional $600) we also replaced a perfectly good sink with another perfectly good sink.  But, this one had cultured marble (NOTE V:  I'm not sure what "cultured" marble means.  Does it only dispense Perrier?).

  Deciding they had raped our bank account sufficiently, I  (NOTE VI:  Once more, by "I", I mean Mrs. Penwasser) thought we (NOTE VII:  By "we", Mrs. Penwasser meant "me") could save a few bucks by doing the rest ourselves (NOTE VIII: By "our"selves, Mrs. P...oh, you get the picture).

  So, I painted the walls (NOTE IX: And myself) a lovely shade of teal (NOTE X:  Snob for "green"), replaced a perfectly good toilet with another perfectly good (NOTE XI:  Meaning "expensive") toilet, and laid ceramic ceramic tile (NOTE XII: "Laid ceramic tile."  NOT a kinky euphemism).

  Anyway, as I was replacing the old toilet seat (NOTE XIII:  The old one had a crack in it.  See NOTE III), I noticed that its manufacturer affixed a label on its rear (NOTE XIV: No pun intended).

  I was shocked.

  Now, you're probably like me (NOTE XV: Except attractive).  I'm sure you don't give much thought to who makes that which cradles your behind.  It's not like we have eyes in that particular region of our anatomy.  I mean, who gives a flying crap (NOTE XVI:  Okay, pun intended)?

  But, go ahead and take a look.  No, no, look closer.  (NOTE XVII:  It's okay.  I hadn't used the thing yet, so it's not gross).

That's right
  Yep.  China.  You mean to tell me we can't make a toilet in the United States?  Or at least the Mexicans?  Aren't they the ones who do the jobs Americans aren't willing to do?
Author does NOT work for Campbells

  Electronics I get.  Sure, why not?  Even though we (NOTE XIII:  or Canada.  Or the UK.  But, not China) invented electronics, I'm not sure Americans can get much more complicated than a soup can on a string anymore.  But, at least China keeps Walmart in business.

Hullabaloo, Baloo, whatever.
It's comedy, you nitpicker.
  Space travel.  Yep.   Despite the heyday of the early Space Age and hullabaloo (NOTE XIX:  Also Mowgli's friend in The Jungle Book) of the landing on the moon (NOTE XX: Or Hollywood soundstage),  NASA can't even operate a kiddy train ride at Disney World without it exploding.  Even worse, they won't validate your parking.

  But, I thought "Made in the USA" would always be safely branded on the places where we sink our increasingly bloated (NOTE XXI:  Thanks, Burger King!) fannies.  Sadly, the Chinese have apparently infiltrated even our bathrooms.

  Game over, man.
First Chinese handcuffs and now this!
  General Tso's Chicken, anyone?

EPILOGUE:  Since I was so spooked about possible Chinese eavesdropping devices implanted in my porcelain throne, I decided to check my toilet paper.  Now, I gotta have quality potty wipes-two ply is absolutely crucial.  Anything less and I run the risk of bursting through and giving myself a prostate exam.
Take that, Comrade!
  Happily, my Quilted Northern is manufactured by the good ole boys in Georgia.  So, the apocalypse is not yet complete.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Seriously Cute Bloggers. Seriously.

Geez, they call THAT 'Doggy-Style'?

  Manzanita from Wanna Buy a Duck  sent me a picture of the most adorable little critter that needs to crap in the yard this side of the newspaper. 
(NOTE:  Real men don't normally use the word 'adorable.'  Sorry.  I think I'm having some aftereffects from my sexy pictures post last week.  I better go check out that picture of Scarlett Johansson again.  Hang on.....crap!!!!  I looked at Chaz Bono!  My eyes!!!!  Hold on....ahhh, okay, Scarlett, that's better).

  Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah, I am honored to report that she has designated me a "Seriously Cute Blogger."  Of course, this was sent out before the picture of me on the beach.  Manzanita, a little advice?  Get thee to an optometrist as fast as you can!  Your prescription needs a little tweaking.

  But...thank you all the same.

  Unlike other awards, the requirements which need to be followed are as easy as Linda Petrillo from the 9th grade.  All I need to do is provide a book review.  Which can't be of a cereal box.
Damn! And me leaving the water running!
  For my book report, I chose Under the Dome by Stephen King.  Not only is he my favorite author, he spells his first name with a 'ph,' not like those lazy buggers who only use 'v.'
  Proving once more that it's no use telling a story in over 1,000 words when 500 will do, Mr. King weaves a tale of a small town which loses its frikkin' mind after an impenetrable, yet transparent (so people from the outside can make fun of them), dome descends from out of nowhere one day.
  In the weeks which follow, the citizens of Chester's Mill, Maine (well, all except Chester.  He's in the state capital trying to get his named changed to something less "rural."  Like Jeb.) endure an array of horrors at the hands of a psycho politician and his insane minions (sorta like an Al Gore fundraiser).  There's mayhem, death, destruction, spoiled food, and necrophilia (which really isn't as sexy as it sounds.  Oops, did I say 'sexy?'  I meant 'gross.').
I said no creamed corn in the cafeteria!
  The story's ending is a little unbelievable, to tell you the truth.  But, then again, his other stories contain vampires, possessed cars, killer clowns, and Sissy Spacek as a telekinetic loner who wastes everyone at the Senior Prom.  So, okay, I guess Under the Dome is as realistic as any other.
  Of course, Mr. King peoples his story with a cast of stereotypical characters who mouth the type of inane saying which nobody ever says anymore.  Plus, he's a liberal which means he absolutely has to weave his political philosophies into the book which, despite all that, is a great read.
  To sum up (I know.  About time) I recommend Under the Dome.  If you enjoy tales of the macabre (NOTE:  I don't really talk like that), you could do a lot worse.  Like read the Monica Lewinsky story.
In case you didn't get the reference
  In other words, I don't normally read fiction.  But, when I do, I prefer Stephen King.  Stay thirsty, my friends.

  One of the other requirements for the Seriously Cute (or deformed.  I don't know which one I am) is to so designate a couple other bloggers.  They could be of the same sex, I suppose (not that there's anything wrong with that), but I've already treaded that road within the past week.  Therefore, I've decided to "tag" a couple of the ladies.
  What's more, I chose ladies who are farthest away from me.  The sheer distance between us would seem, to me, to be a guarantee that the "Seriously Cute Blogger" wouldn't be seen as some sort of cheap come-on.  I gave that kind of nonsense up during the Age of Disco (NOTE:  Didn't work then, either).
  So, without further adieu (NOTE: French for "dieu"), I hereby choose:
  Robyn from Life By Chocolate.  She really has a cool blog.  Her pictures of California and yearning for all things chocolate make visiting her site a daily treat (which doesn't give me cavities).
  Lemons Don't Make Lemonade.  Lemons has the great advantage of not only living on another continent, but being of an age that any come-on from me will immediately trigger the "Oh-God-Ick!!" alarm.  Look for her next blog, "Lemon Pledge Doesn't Make Lemonade.  It Makes Crappy Lemonade."  Okay, just kidding about that one.  But, I bet it would.

  Once more, thank you Manzanita!  
  Check's in the mail. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today's Vocabulary Encore

Blow Pop:  1. (n)  A candy, not a command.

NOTE:  I don't like to do these a whole lot.  Definitely not two days in a row.  But, I saw a box of these when I made a rest stop on the Connecticut Turnpike while driving home from the Native American Casino (where I-as predicted-lost my ass in wampum).  If you giggle, too, congratulations! Your mind works the same way as mine does.  
Off to read your blogs now......

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Today's Vocabulary

Poligrip:  1. (n)  Dental care for elderly parrots.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Man Boobs Rerun

  Wouldn't you know it?  Here it is, the weekend and I'm not home.  Far be it from me to complain, though, because I'm celebrating my brother's 50th birthday at the Foxwoods Indian Casino in Connecticut.

  Ooops...sorry, I meant to say Foxwoods Native American Casino (No matter. We're going to lose our ass in wampum).

  Anyway, since I won't be able to write that much the next two days (NOTE: this is probably not too bad a deal for you), I thought I'd shoot another rerun your way.

  Notice to long-time followers (SherilinR of Laughing My Abs Off being the longest such sufferer): you've seen the below picture.  But, quite a few of you are new.  Far be it from me to deny you the chance to lose your lunch like Sherilin had.

  So, feel good about yourselves......

Friday, September 16, 2011

Don't Say I Never Promised

You know you want me, ladies.
You may thank your friend, Al.
Can't believe I just wrote that. I feel so unclean.

  Because they delayed gratification by reading my last post, "Inspiration" (or they lied. Hey, who can really know here?), I've decided to reward JenniferJennyDirty Cowgirl (may I call you "Dirty"?), and Mynx.
  Never let it be said that I'm not a man of my word (well, except for that "death till you part" thing with with Mrs. Penwasser I).  At great personal risk to my reputation as an International Man of Mystery-Dwarf Division, I've surfed the 'net for pictures of what-I think-are sexy pictures of dudes.  I just hope the Gender Police don't show up on my doorstep demanding surrender of my Guy Card.
  Even though I've only identified the four ladies above (if those are, in fact, their real names), I'm sure there are plenty more of you out there who'd enjoy a peek.
  If nothing else, it gives me something to write about.  I do have a couple posts I'll be writing soon about: fingers, bathroom devices, and colonic advantages of bran.  Plus, I owe some patient people award acknowledgements.  Please don't send someone to break my legs.  I promise I'll get to them (there's that promise thing again).
  I can say this for myself.  Even though I'm not titillated (hee...hee...hee. I said 'titillated'), I will put the extra cupcake down and do a few crunches.  My six pack is starting to look like a twelve-pack of juice boxes (NOTE:  I never had a six-pack.  I lied.  Sue me.)
Thousands of screaming Persians with swords, hundreds of stampeding war elephants, and an effeminate psycho emperor bent on world domination. Hey, what say we take off our shirts and strip down to our underwear? We may not win, but we'll look wicked buff.
Apparently, some consider him sexy.
Definitely Angie.  Could be Jennifer.
Probably Chaz.  Or not. Who knows?

OK, I may not be the best judge of the male physique.  But, I hear he has a great personality.  Oh, check that. I meant flippers.

  Now before my skin crawls right off my body, I just had to post a picture of  someone who would be more appealing to the brawnier members (hee...hee...hee...I said 'member') of our society (and Chaz.  Seriously, who the F knows?).  This will be a "thank you" to those gentlemen who decided to stick it out (hee...hee...hee...I said 'stick it out') and read this post, despite its decidedly Playgirl-style cheesecakery (NOTE:  NOT a real word).  
You're welcome.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


NOTE:  If you read this entire blog, you will be rewarded with a sexy picture at the bottom!
NOTE ADDENDUM:  I wonder how many of you will actually read all this first before scrolling down.
ADDENDUM TO THE NOTE ADDENDUM:  Go ahead.  I'll wait. 

    Having to work for a living has seriously put a crimp into time otherwise spent drinking coffee, watching Sportscenter, checking the mail, cheating at Yahtzee, trying to dig out that prize from the kids’ Lucky Charms, eating a bowl of Raisin Bran naked, immediately going to the bathroom (because I ate Raisin Bran...  hello!), calling Mrs. Penwasser at work and asking how her day’s going, phoning 1-800-FLOWERS because Mrs. Penwasser was not amused, telling tele-marketers that my dad can’t come to the phone because he’s in jail, and surfing “You Tube” for investment advice (yeah, that’s what we’ll call it).
    Plus, I got to read a whole ton of your blogs.
    Unfortunately, since my name isn’t Trump, this life of sloth had to eventually come to an end.  A couple weeks ago, I put on a pair of long pants and headed back to work.  The money coming in is great (we can eat!), but I haven’t been able to spend as much time on Blogger as I’d like.
    Which is a shame, because you are some talented writers.  Whether it’s a tour of a New England eatery, a thought-provoking commentary on relationships, Asian sex toy pictorials, the price of gas in the Middle East, a travelogue of California, why New Jersey ain’t so bad, pictures of mermaids, writing advice, or anything Canadian (because you guys are much more than hockey and Celine Dion.  There’s maple syrup, for instance). 
    From the Midwest to the UK to Down Under, you’ve all motivated me to write my very best (or something like this).  I’m better for having “cyber” known you.
    Anyway, Violet, from Gratuitous Violet's Blob (yes, that is not a typo.  She calls it a ‘blob’) has honored me with the “Inspirational Blog Award.” 
    Which is ironic, because she and you all inspire me.  But, hey, I’ll take it.  Its butterfly picture will look cool on my blog.
    In any event, you should check out her pretty cool site.  Don’t let the imposing “Adult Content Warning” dissuade you, either.  There’s nothing there you can’t handle.  Hey, if my pictures of Chaz Bono don’t bother you, nothing Violet says will.
    Part of the requirements for this award is to answer a series of eight questions.  Violet chose to number hers “0-7.”  I will use Roman Numerals.
    The Romans won’t mind.  They’re all dead, anyway (I mean ancient Romans, professor!).
I.  What makes you laugh, smile, or giggle?  Violet said “farts.”  I say “farts.”  Unless I do it during maritals.  Then Mrs. Penwasser laughs.  Nothing funny about that.
II.  What are your dreams for the future?  To wake up.
III.  If you go on a cruise, where would it be and why?  I’d go in the bathroom.  Because I ate too much bran.
IV.  How would you spend your vacation time and with whom?  Naked.  Definitely not with dudes.  Or anyone who uses the word “whom.”
V.  If given a chance, what life would you choose?  Your life now or in the past?  My life now.  Fewer people beating me up.  Especially girls.
VI.  Is there something that you wished before when you were young but you didn’t get it?  Math.  I never got it.
VII.  Have you been in a situation where you might have given up but still you chose to move on?  I didn't come out of my room for days after “Joanie Loves Chiachi” was cancelled.
VIII.  Is there someone in your life who has been your source of strength and inspiration?  President Grover Cleveland because he proved that even fat guys can become president and get chicks.
    And now what you’ve all been waiting for (no, not the sexy pictures.  Keep your pants on):  hoping to see your blog listed.  So, let’s see some names!
    Even though you all inspire me, it’s incumbent (NOTE: Not as dirty as it sounds) upon me to bestow the Beautiful Butterfly (in no certain order) to only a few.  Such as:
My first Canadian Blogger friend, he taught me there’s more to life north of Detroit than North Detroit.
Robyn invited me to play in a Dating Game and showed me that I sucked when it came to chocolate knowledge.
Antares is one heckuva smart guy.  He makes me think-that I’m really a knucklehead compared to him (or is that 'he'? See? Knucklehead).  Plus, his blog has a swell picture of a galaxy thingie.
Yes, Mrs. E., I really do.  And so will everyone who reads this.

  Well, I’m getting perilously close to my personal 1,000 word limit (why do you think I break up my posts as often as I do?).  Anything more than that and I’m afraid you’ll go play “Farmville” or get acquainted with your families.
    To make up for it, here’s the sexy pictures I promised....

"Arnie never calls. That bastard."
      Ooops, my bad.  That’s from Governor Schwarzenegger’s Little Black Book O’ Hotties.  How ‘bout this.....?
That's what I'm I'm talking about.
Yeah, she wouldn't give me the time of day, either.
     And one for the ladies......
My blog.  My rules.
   And, finally, one for the ladies who are now men, but not really because everyone knows that that actually is a banana in your pocket and, besides, you ain’t foolin’ no one.
"Hey, anyone catch the WNBA Finals?"
     Well, that’s it for me.  See you in a couple days.
    Gotta go to work.


Monday, September 12, 2011

The Morning After

8:00 AM, September 12th, 2001
Hangar 831, Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland

Back to normal in a couple days.  See you then!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One September Tuesday

    You’re going to be inundated with a plethora of “I was there” stories concerning the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  They’ll, no doubt, be a painful recounting of the angst of a nation thrust irretrievably into the cauldron of a permanently unsettled world.
    And who said I’d never use that thesaurus I got from my Creative Writing course at community college?
    Now that I got that out of my system.......

     It's my generation's "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" moment.  
    Just before one o’clock in the afternoon on September 11th (a sad commentary: we don’t even need to identify the year anymore),  my maintenance supervisor stuck his head into my room to wake me.
    “Sir, someone just flew a plane into the World Trade Center.”
    Not soon after, I watched, horrified, as a second plane struck the South tower.  And then, as both of the monstrously huge structures tumbled to the ground as if kicked by a petulant child.
    My unit and I were participating in a multi-nation exercise at the Naval Air Station in Keflavik, Iceland (this explains why it was the afternoon).  A round-the-clock operation, the Keflavik Tactical Exchange gave us a unique chance to evaluate each other’s capabilities should we ever needed to flex our respective militaries.  Little did we know that we were preparing for a type of war which belonged to the past.
    Because the 21st Century came roaring into each of our lives on that late summer day.
    Naturally, the exercise was immediately cancelled.  Foreign aircrews (funny that I call them “foreign’” since we were actually foreigners, too) beat hasty returns to their home bases.  We were told that American airspace was closed for an indefinite time.
    Station security forces went into their highest readiness posture.  Watch teams at the main gate beefed up, rings of barbed wire cordoned off perceived sensitive areas, and armed patrols roamed the perimeter.
    My watch teams and I, on the other hand, remained at our billeting.  Only in Iceland for the exercise, we were considered non-essential personnel who’d only get in the way.
    And so we spent the next few days.
    I received a worried phone call from my wife during this time.  She fretted over my safety.  I assured her that I was fine, but omitted the fact that I was more concerned for her and the kids.
    You see, my family lives only a couple hours from New York and only a few from Washington.
    The ensuing few days was a frantic search for whatever updates we could glean from the news and how in the world we’d get ourselves and thousands of pounds of equipment back home.
    Most importantly, we desperately wanted to know how we could get into the fight.  Whatever the fight was.
    Four days later, U.S. airspace was opened to military traffic.  As I glanced through the window of the Navy patrol plane which took us home, I was struck at how empty the sky was-with the exception of the one plane which approached us as we crossed into the United States.  It came no closer than a few miles before it disappeared.
    I think it was a fighter aircraft.
    What’s more, the radio circuits, normally full of the cacophony of countless air traffic controllers, were eerily silent.  The only ones “on the air” were the handful which guided us home.  All else were hushed into silence.
    Our route of flight took us just south of Manhattan, well out of sight of land.  At that distance, even at the altitude at which we were flying, it was impossible to see any of the city skyline.
    But, we did see a huge pall of gray-brown smoke lingering in the air like the death shroud that it was.
    As we touched ground at the air station we called home, there was nobody to greet us.  There was really not much of anything by way of an acknowledgment that we were back.  Somehow, it seemed fitting.
    After all, we all had something much more important to do.
    Go home to our families.

In memory of:
Commander Bill Donovan, USN
AW2 (NAC/AW) Joseph Pycior, USN
and the thousands whose only crime was going to work that day. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

George-Ask For Him By Name

  I know from the last post, most of you were probably wondering, "Where are the naked pictures??  Oh, yeah, and who the hell is GEORGE!?  I thought the big jerk was talking about someone called POPPY!?
  Well, today you'll find out.  Sheesh!!  It's like I have to do everything.

    Starting off with a service at the Episcopalian Church (what we refer to as “Catholic Light”) we ended up at the biggest cemetery in town.
    A military funeral (because he was in the Marines), the service was very dignified and steeped in an appropriate level of sadness.
"I'm so sorry for your gonna eat that?"
    At its conclusion, everyone but immediate family withdrew to a cold cuts, beer, and coffee fest at the Elks Lodge (something about funerals makes me crave boiled ham on a little roll).
    My brothers, my sister, our spouses, and I stared quietly at the casket as it sat suspended over the open vault.  Festooned with an untold number of floral garlands, its mute presence reminded us of our loss.
    It was then I felt a little guilty over our hijinks from the night before.
Now that I put this here, it looks kinda creepy.
In an Uncle Ernie kinda way.
    As we began to move toward our cars, we heard an almost imperceptible “psst!”  Quickly scanning the cemetery, I didn’t see anything or anyone.  Still looking, we heard it again and spotted a head peering around the side of a tree.
    What the-?
    Suddenly, George, one of the people with whom we went to high school (NOTE: Another example of snooty "whom" grammar), stepped from behind the tree, a 30-pack of Budweiser in his hand.  “Everybody gone?”  he called.
Not THE George.  But A George.
    When we told him we were the only ones left, he came over to the site and placed the case of beer on the ground.  “Well, here you are.”
    Sensing we had no clue what he was talking about it, he said, “When Ray knew he was going to die, he told me to get a case of beer and go to his gravesite and hide.  Then,” he went on, “when everybody but the kids left, he told me to come on out and let you have a beer on him.”
    Stunned, we stared at George, the beer, and the grave.   
    Nobody said a word for a few minutes.  Then, one of us-I don’t remember who-grabbed a can.  The rest of us immediately followed.
    Popping our tops, we raised our cans to Poppy in toast.
    Before we drank, though, Phil said, “Wait!”  Opening a Bud, he set it on top of the casket, “Well, here you go, cheaper than you can get at Yankee Stadium.”
    With that, we all had a beer to the memory of our father.
So pop a top to Poppy
    Needless to say, we finished that case and, despite the “These people are nuts” looks from the cemetery workers, stayed until the casket was finally lowered into the ground.
    It may have been a strange way to act at a funeral, but we knew that was the way Poppy would have preferred it.  Why else would he have had the presence of mind to contract the services of “Funerals By George”?

    Epilogue:  At the post-service "Deviled Eggs and Macaroni Salad Fest", we were discussing how we’d like to be remembered when it was our turn to shuffle off this mortal coil.  We agreed that nobody should be sad; while “have fun with it” sounds morbid, it pretty much sums up our philosophies.
    Then, we “handicapped” who would go next.  After focusing on who had the most hazardous profession (technically me, but Karen does have that rattlesnake walking business), we finally centered on health problems.  While none of us have any medical issues to speak of, Phil and I DO have high blood pressure.  Since we couldn’t decide who was more likely to die next, we flipped a coin.
    I lost. 
    Wonder if George is in the phone book?