Archive for May, 2009

Have a Nice Trip. See You Next Fall.

Saturday, May 16th, 2009


I am becoming an expert on the vulgarities of the sidewalks of Rochester within a radius of about a mile from the center of the city. I walk on them pretty often – and trip and fall on them far too many times. Last week I fell twice in a stretch of irregular sidewalk about 20-yards long, TWICE – IN 12-HOURS (!) within sight of the building in which I work. Onlookers were shocked!

Falling isn’t nice – remember? The awkward clip of the trip, then the concrete rushing at supersonic speeds towards your face, then the thudding crash (pause for a split second) then … PAIN! The shooting joint rips, the scraped hands, knees, and elbow skin tears, bruises – then the quick jump to your feet and the MANDATORY downward look of revulsion at the evil piece of concrete which chose YOU (out of all the other idiot pedestrians walking that day) to make stumble and look like a spastic imbecile.

Almost all sidewalks in Northeastern US cities are potential land ‘on-your-ass’ mines. The reason is simple: the changing seasons. When rain and snow freeze under and between sidewalk slabs in winter, the ice expands and cracks or makes uneven the concrete. When spring rolls around, the ice melts and sidewalks look like miles of crooked, broken teeth.

Shouldn’t the city fix the sidewalks and even them out? Well of course they should. Just as soon as they fix all the potholes and clear all the fallen, soaked leaves and trash from the streets – which will be about the twelfth of Never.

A few years ago, New York City came up with a genius solution because they have more sidewalk problems than any other city which resulted in injury lawsuits costing city taxpayers over $50-million a year. They simply passed a law saying it wasn’t their problem anymore. Property owners are now required to carry liability insurance for personal injury and property damage in sidewalk accidents.

And what happens if you fall on a sidewalk in front of say a city park? Officially: not the city’s problem. Unofficially: you’d better crawl your sorry, broken ass to a sidewalk in front of private property before you begin hollering and threatening to sue. I heart New York!


Farrah’s Farewell

Friday, May 15th, 2009



The NBC mini-documentary on Farrah Fawcett’s final stages of colon cancer will begin soon on TV but I’m not going to watch it. It’s too personal – too close to home. Ten years ago, on June 9, 1999, my 49th birthday, I was diagnosed with stage-3 colon cancer. At stage-4, it’s only a matter of time and you don’t buy green bananas. Farrah is in the last weeks of stage-4.


Although I’ve been “in remission” for 8 or 9 years, I guess “it” will come back one day – in one form or another. People get cancer in different ways – most of them unknown. All the words to “fight it” are clichéd and well-known: “courageous fight,” “long battle,” “long-time survivor,” blah, blah, blah. In the end, it doesn’t really matter.


If you die from cancer, it doesn’t mean you didn’t fight as hard – or were less determined – or didn’t have the most advanced care. What I believe is it’s pretty much the luck of the draw. Fate determines your time and I doubt if lobbying for a “stay” or running all around for alternative cures are anything more than time-killing distractions.


My Mom died of cancer at 62, Farrah Fawcett’s age. Just like Farrah, I never once heard her cry “why me?” Mom spent too much time in what were then called “cancer wards” and she had only one regret: the children dying around her didn’t get to experience all the joys of life with which she was blessed.


We all have so very much to appreciate and to love. If you can’t experience all of that with a joyous heart, you’re probably already dead.


Right Wing – Wrong Time

Thursday, May 14th, 2009



I like RightWing wing nuts about as much as I like LeftWing wing nuts which is not much at all. But I’m really beginning to feel sorry for the Righties because they keep getting pounded.


Last November they had to ride into the election on the top of two stupid wars, a crashing economy, a crumbling health care system, a moderate Presidential candidate who promised more of the same, and a Vice-Presidential nominee who thought it OK to be interviewed in front of a turkey beheading machine only to have her office later deny that she thought it a good idea.


Lipstick Sarah was a contender to be the Right’s spokesperson focusing on Patriotism and Family Values. But then Daughter announced she had a case of the pre-wed pregs – promised Mom she’d get married after the election – only to discover that the tattooed/pierced high school honey is someone no one wants in the family anyway. Uh-oh.


Then Saint O plus his beautiful wife plus his Kodak-charming kids plus his new, cute dog glitter into the White House and he begins spending money like he’s got a printing press across the street; which, of course, he has. Now no one knows if any of this is going to work but until the bills start coming in, O’s approval ratings are shooting past the Hubble Telescope and when the Righties talk about fiscal responsibility, they sound like the evil stepchildren of the Wicked Witch of the West and Ebeneezer Scrooge – and smell like a big Rush of flatulence.


The bell rings and expanded embryonic research scores a hard left hook to the jaws of the Right and then lowering the age for non-prescription birth control to 17 knocks them into the ropes. Just when we thought the fight was over, a surprise Angel floats to the Right’s corner off the shoulders of Donald Trump.


Carrie Pre-jeans (could there be a better name to remind us of what women were supposed to be like before the ‘60’s?) takes a strong, Conservative stand against gay marriage which represents how three out of four Americans feel – and it looks like the Right is a contender again. But then some topless pictures of Angel ooze out of hiding, she actually called them a ‘wardrobe malfunction’, and the RightWingers have omelets on their faces again.


What should they do now? Nothing. Rush, Savage, Coulter, and Drudge should just shut up and let the LeftWing nuts speak. How long do you think it will take Al Franken, Jeanette Garofalo and their kind to say or do something REALLY dumb? A week? Maybe two?


If there’s one thing you can count on from WingNuts on either side of the political spectrum, it’s that they’re programmed to do something really stupid. Just wait a minute.






50,000 Hits

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Total: 49999 hits and 5912 unique. 9:56PM-05/13/09

Total: 50000 hits and 5912 unique. 9:57PM-05/13/09

I happened to be awake last night when my blog counter hit the 50-K mark – since last July. I know that doesn’t mean 50,000 readers – just a few thousand clicking on my blog fifty-thousand times. About 1/3 of you are not from America. The Internet is a remarkable thing.

For those of you who did not get here by mistakes, thank you.

For Paul and Peggi of 4-D Advertising, a special thanks.

Miss California Stripped of Her . . . Top

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009


“So there I was – just innocently modeling some Christian underwear – and a wicked gust of wind (probably a breath by the Devil) blew open my top! And then I tried to pull it closed with one hand as I desperately searched for a hair barrette to fasten it with my other hand. And then I looked over at the photographer for help – but what does he do? He snaps my damn picture! That’s the way it happened – REALLY!” Right.

So Arrest Me

Monday, May 11th, 2009


A woman friend of mine was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Now, if you ever get to choose the cancer you might get, thyroid cancer is a good choice. It’s slow-growing and the cells in your thyroid gland are self-contained which makes them relatively easy to treat without destroying all the other cells in your body. But two factors complicate this case.

The first was the doctors made a mistake. After an exploratory operation removing part of her thyroid gland for biopsy, they said it was benign – non-cancerous. A week later a doctor called and said – in effect – “Oops, we made a mistake. You DO have cancer.”

OK. Everybody makes mistakes. Not a pleasant surprise but she’ll probably live – after treatment. The second complication is more serious. You see, my friend was a crack cocaine addict about 3 or 4 years ago. She went through detox and rehab and has been clean for a number of years now BUT it’s still on her medical record. So what? So now no doctor will prescribe pain medication (“Drugs!”) to relieve her suffering from the 4-inch gash she has sliced across her throat and from which she constantly suffers.

Now forget the fact that pain killers (barbiturates – “downers”) are the antithesis of her drug of choice (cocaine – a strong “upper”), a drug is a drug is a drug and no respectable sawbones is going to help get drugs for a documented druggie.

But I will.

That’s right – I have enough connections in offices, bars and on the street to get just about any legal or illegal drug known to humankind. And I’m going to ask those people to get narcotics to help my friend relieve her suffering.

Isn’t that against the law? It sure is. So on the one hand, we have this concept of a civilized society living by agreed-upon rules governing our behavior – and on the other, I have a loved one suffering from terrible pain and I can help her. What would you do?

I’ve made my decision. If you have a problem with it, you may call the Rochester, NY Police Department at (518) 428-7210. Ask for the Drug Enforcement Division.

No One’s Right When Everything is Wrong

Monday, May 11th, 2009


On May 4, 1970, National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University opened fire on thousands of students only some of whom were protesting the war in Vietnam.  Over 5-dozen shots were fired by a few of the poorly-trained Guardsmen as others looked on in horror.  Within seconds, nine students were wounded and four lay dead.  Most of the fatalities were of students supporting the protestors or merely observing the confrontation.


In 1978, H.R.Haldeman, a top aid of  President Richard Nixon, stated the shootings at Kent State began the slide into Watergate, eventually destroying the Nixon administration.


At least something good came from this needless tragedy.

The Panhandler Pushback

Sunday, May 10th, 2009


When I was younger and had more money, I always gave bums change or a dollar when they asked for it. I guess I felt guilty that I had so much and they had so little. Bums seemed to be nicer then – more appreciative – more mannered. I don’t know if I’ve changed or they have – but these days I get a different feeling. Bums aren’t only more aggressive in approaching me, they’re not nearly as thankful, and when I contribute, it’s not uncommon for them to ask for more!

 A few months ago I got fed up with the whole business when this bum gave me a pretty good whine and I took out my wallet. I had a one and a five. I gave him the one and he actually said I should have given him the five! I snatched back my one and started yelling at him until he went away – all the while pleading for the one back. He didn’t get it.

 After that I came up with a different bum strategy and the results surprised me. For a number of weeks now, when a bum starts to ask me for money, “Sir, pardon me, sir?” – I immediately interrupt and say, “Buddy, do you have an extra dollar? I haven’t worked in months now and I’ll pay you back – really!”

 How did I think they’d react? Something like, “Don’t have it man. I was hoping to get something from you. See ya.” But bums don’t act like that at all. They get ticked – REALLY ticked! I’ve been cursed at, yelled at, and many have spit out an unnatural act they say I committed with my Mother! So I finally figured it out. If the shoe were on the other foot and these guys had some extra cash, they would no more give it to a stranger than they would heave it into the street. Strangers are just suckers waiting to be licked.

 They certainly won’t give me a buck – or even a dime. So from now on I’m going to have fun interrupting bums and asking them for money. I’ll let you know if one ever gives me anything more than an annoyed, disgusted look or a curse.


Wanna ball?

Friday, May 8th, 2009


This is the last time I ever held a ball correctly. I stunk at basketball (couldn’t dribble), was lousy at football (“Just stand there and  try to plug a hole in the line, Paolo.”),  was truly embarrassing in baseball (“Just swing at the damn thing!”), and fortunately,  never played soccer.

I’d like to think I did better at solo sports like wrestling – but my nickname was “Canvasback the Light Counter.”   College kids can be so cruel.



Friday, May 8th, 2009

The BEST Bum Line of 2008


“Buddy, can you give me a cigarette?  I left mine in the machine.”




“Franco, could you give me $2 for a ham sandwich?”

“Bernie – you can’t buy a ham sandwich for $2!”

“Oh. Then can you give me 5?”

(He got it.)