Monday, September 28, 2015

When Facebook and Blogger Collide


    I don't usually "cross-pollinate" my Facebook and Blogger lives.

NOTE:  Yeah, that's a frikkin' lie.  I'll do anything for a laugh.

NOTE:  I hope you've already seen this once or twice.
I mean, it's right on top.
New people?  You don't have an excuse.
    But, sometimes, I see things on Facebook....

"And I see dead people."
...which make me laugh and, so, want to share.

NOTE:  Especially when I got nothing else to write about.

    Anyway, I saw the GIF above (no, not the toilet picture) on Rodney Lacroix's Facebook account.  Rodney, as some of you may know, is the author of the Mental Poo blog.  He's also the author of several books.  His most recent work of art ("Hey, Al, I thought you said his name was Rodney?") is Romantic As Hell, a tale of woo, pitching woo, and how doing so in public can get you arrested. 

"Well, that explains all the cop cars!"

    It can be had (unlike that stuck-up cheerleader in high school) by visiting  Just type in Romantic As Hell (which, I think, would be obvious).

NOTE:  Unsolicited book plug.
    He really is a funny guy...

"What?  Like a clown?" I recommend visiting him at that "Poo" place (a lot of you have) or requesting to be one of his followers on Facebook.  He'll probably freak out from so many Friend Requests.

Although, I'd advise him to steer clear of you guys.
    Oh, wait...what was the point of this idiotic post, besides man love...?

"Preach, Mr. P!"

    Oh, that's right, the lizard video.  Anyway, I liked Rodney's video so much I commented on it.  Because I just learned how to screen capture, I've decided to post it here...

    It's kinda small...
The post, Al, the post!
...but, essentially, Kimberly thought my outrageously funny comment about a dinosaur was serious.  Apparently, she thinks I think dinosaurs still exist.  Since I thought that couldn't possibly be the case, I responded with Ahmed the Dead Terrorist.  After some consideration, though, I kinda thought she DID think I was serious.  This brought up a real question in my head....

    How in the world can one of Rodney's followers not have a sense of humor?

    Waiting for a rebuttal....

Friday, September 25, 2015

Captain Caption LXIX

"So, a...stop me if you heard this one...I swear you're gonna laugh your ass off though, Frank.  Anyway, a Jew, a priest, and a mullah walk into a bar with a "clock" and...KABOOM!!  
What?  Nothing?  
Christ, you frikkin' Catholics have no sense of humor."

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I was an inmate of Our Lady of the Penguin Academy Catholic School for seven years.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Welcome to Fall!

    An equinox is an astronomical event in which the plane of the Earth's equator passes the center of the Sun.  Equinoxes occur twice a year.  The 2015 Autumnal Equinox will happen at 0421 on September 23rd.  The equinoxes are the only times when...OH, GOOD EFFIN' GRIEF!!!!!!

    Okay, what this all means is that an equinox results in the same amount of daylight as darkness.  The big difference now is that, in the Northern Hemisphere, the hours of darkness will eventually increase while daylight will diminish.  This will continue until December's Winter Solstice when the Earth will have had just about enough of all "this GD darkness" and will begin to increase the amount of daylight.

   Seriously, this is about as much as I want to explain it.

    In essence....
September 23
September 23

    I can just hear you remarking, "Well, that doesn't make any sense, Al."'s because it's frikkin' dark that's why!!

    So, let's just simulate the effect of the changing of the seasons, shall we?
September 23

September 23

    Okay, I think you get the picture.  Bottom line, though, gone are the carefree, balmy days of summer.  Soon enough, the harsh winds of winter will blow.  And that will blow.
"Betcher ass."
    On the other hand, we won't have to worry about this for a while.
Governor Christie at the Jersey Shore
    Meanwhile, in Australia...

"Crikey, time for me to head to the beach because I...HEY!
Why don't you take a picture??  It'll last longer, mate!"

Dress warmly, my friends.
Before you know it, there'll be a nip in the air.
"What do you think he meant by that crack??"

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Captain Caption LXVIII

Seen at a gas station on Virginia's Eastern Shore.....

Now that's what I call Southern hospitality!

Monday, September 14, 2015

What I've Been Up To

    As those of you who are regular tenants at Penwasser Place (incidentally, mental health screenings aren't terribly expensive) know, I spent the bulk of August sitting around on my fat ass drinking beer editing my next book, It's An Adventure.

    For those who care (once again, may I bring up mental health screening?), I completed the first edit of part two of the opus to myself.  I'm now in the middle of my second.  I more than likely will do a third edit in the hopes that, if I polish that turd enough times, it will wind up a diamond.  New this time around will be page numbers (unlike It's Not Just a Job...wasn't that a pain in the crack?) and inclusion of photographs documenting my life aboard USS America.  That is, if I can figure out how to send photos to the good folks at Create Space.
Pictures like this!
Maybe not.
    I'm pretty sure I'm on schedule to have the whole shebang done by November 1st.  This will give you plenty of time to order a copy for those whom you do not like as a Christmas, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, or Kwanzaa gift.  Sorry, I couldn't finish it in time for Canadian Thanksgiving.  I hope you won't hold that against me, eh?

    Anyway, because the millions I had counted on for dizzying sales of Shag Carpet Toilet and It's Not Just a Job never materialized (plus, since I sent a check for a couple grand to that nice Nigerian prince), I've had to find work.  And, since "Sitting Around On My Fat Ass Drinking Beer" isn't a viable career path (as if), it had to be a real "big boy" job.
Why, oh why???
"It's because they suck.
I should know."

    So, what have I been doing to raise a few dollars so that I can continue to crank out literary cow patties with no hope of a financial windfall?  

    I'm a janitor at a local high school.

    But, the word "janitor," has negative connotations for some (not me).  It's a lot like "garbageman," "pizza delivery boy," or "Speaker of the House."

"That's 'Italian Food Transportation Representative.'
NOTE:  I actually was a "Pizza Delivery Boy" for Dominos wayyyyy back in the 80s.  This was before I went back into the Navy.  A little hint, if I may?  NEVER stiff the delivery boy.  You may get "extra cheese" on your next order.  If you know what I mean.

  In view of that little piece of political correctness, I am what they call a "custodian."  Which, I suppose, sounds more dignified.  Whatever.  It's honest work for a decent wage.  That cleans toilets.  Which do not have shag carpet on them.
It's a lot like this.
Incidentally, muppets don't pop out
of that little plastic box on the wall.
It's for feminine hygiene products.
Which is pretty disturbing
since this is in the Boys Room.

    To give me time during the day to sit around on my fat ass but not drink beer because I have to go to work to edit my book, I work 3rd shift from 10:30 pm to 7:00 am (or 2230 to 0700, which you would know if you read my books).  The worst part about it is that I have responsibility for the pool, gym, and locker rooms for said pool and gym.  They're kind of grungy and always get grungy, even if the kids have the day off (like today for Rosh Hashanah).

    It's really not bad, although I have yet to adopt any kind of a regular sleeping/eating routine.  On the other hand, I get to watch The View on a regular basis.  Those ladies are beautiful (except Joy Behar.  She's a bit of a beast), clever, and whacky.  You go, Sister Whoopi!

   It's tough working the "Graveyard Shift," though.  I honestly don't know how vampires do it.  Maybe it's all that blood.
"It's because they suck.  I should know."

Congratulations on a "Penwasser Place Picture Two-Fer"!
Nobody wins anything, though.
"Well, now that sucks!  I should know."

could have gone for a three-fer, you know.
    While I enjoy the relative solitude and sense that I've accomplished something worthwhile (hey, they also serve who mop floors) of my work, I know it won't be forever.  Eventually my days of replacing sanitizer cakes in urinals will come to an end and Mrs. Penwasser will put me in a rest home.  

    Unless I get fired for using the pool at 3 am one morning.

    On the bright side, it can get spooky in the middle of the night.  For example, those CPR dummies in the First Aid classroom kinda creep me out.

Could really do without these.

    Since I brought it up (look back a couple paragraphs), Happy Rosh Hashanah to my Jewish friends!  
    Personally, I think having a new year celebration (which did start at sunset last night, I'll grant you) on a frikkin' Monday seems like a rip-off to me.  I mean, how much trouble can you get into at the beginning of the work week (Robyn, do tell)?
    On the other hand, isn't Yom Kippur in a week or so?  And, isn't that the Jewish Day of Atonement?    
    Maybe you'll have something to be sorry for, after all (Julie, do tell).

"Just one more Mogen David
and I'm putting on the 10 o'clock News."

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Day After

Naval Air Station
Keflavik, Iceland

Friday, September 11, 2015

Never Forget

    My grandparents had, "Where were you when Pearl Harbor was attacked?"
    My parents had, "Where were you when John F. Kennedy was assassinated?"
    Sadly, I have, "Where were you on September 11th?"

    Obviously, this is a repost.  But, unlike the other repeats I inflict upon you, I make no apologies.  I will continue to post this every year.  
    Most of you have read this.  A couple haven't.  For those who have read it, please feel free to carry on.  But, never forget the day the world changed forever. 

    It was just before one o’clock in the afternoon on September 11th (a sad commentary: we don’t even need to identify the year anymore) when my maintenance supervisor stuck his head into my room to wake me.

    “Sir, someone just flew a plane into the World Trade Center.”

    Minutes later, 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. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

New York City Skyline


September 10, 2001

Monday, September 7, 2015

That Damn Penwasser!


From me to you (well, who else would it be?)...  

p.s. I know what the real meaning of the day is.  What do you think I am, an idiot?

"That's not what it meant?  Huh.  Who knew?"