Archive for September, 2009

Big Mac……145 miles

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009


There are over 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the US. Somewhere in South Dakota is the place in the US geographically most removed from the nearest McDonalds. If you started out from this location, a few miles north of State Highway 20 (which runs between Highways 73 in the west and 65 in the east), you’d have to travel 145 miles to get a Big Mac.  And that’s just one more reason the United States should drop from our roster  South Dakota, South Carolina, and West Virginia too.  We no longer have enough money to collect “doubles”.

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Cell Hell

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

imagesI went to lunch with my ex-wife “T” a few weeks ago.  It was great seeing her and we had a few laughs – and then my cell phone came up.  I hate cell phones and never had one until five months ago when a friend gave me a fancy one because I lost my car. I was supposed to use it for emergencies and bus schedules and all I wanted to on nights and weekends.  I never really like calling anyone.  It’s always a bother – to me.  For all these months, I’ve used it five, maybe six times – and no one has ever called me on it.  “T” asked for my cell phone number.

“I don’t know what it is,” I truthfully said.

“You don’t know what your number is?  Well then how can you expect anyone to call – obviously, no one else knows it either.”

“I don’t expect people to call,” I said, “I don’t even want people to call.  I never answer my phone at home – I know too many nuts.”  T quickly agreed. She played with a lot of buttons on my phone but couldn’t come up with the number.

“OK,” she said, “you call me on my cell phone and it will tell us the number.”  Great idea.  It didn’t work. It seems my number is “anonymous” to anyone I call.  She couldn’t “unblock” it – I really didn’t care.

In the early ‘70’s, I was one of the first on my block to get a telephone answering machine.  I rank it right up there with the wheel, the electric light bulb, and vulcanized rubber in terms of mankind’s greatest hits.  I wish I’d saved over 30-years of my recordings. Many of them would go like this:

“Pick up the damn phone, you sonofabitch!  I know you’re sitting there listening!”

“What street is this?”

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009


Lots of signs at “The Coolest Spot in Virtual Rochester”

Social InSecurity

Sunday, September 27th, 2009


My friend was angry.  He worked most of his adult life in the Social Security Administration and now he was fuming over the recent numbers released by the Congressional Budget Office and the Republicans’ gleeful reaction to them.

It seems there’s going to be a $10-billion deficit in 2010 between what SS takes in and what it pays out.  And Republicans are dancin’ in the streets, scaring old folks, blaming the Democrats, and hoping for a chance in the next election.

“Those freakin’ liars,” he said, “they’ve been trying to neuter Social Security for decades and now they’re playing its protector.  What a crock!”

Now he knows he can talk to me like that because I like Republicans as much as I like Democrats whom I don’t like at all.  He went on:

“Social Security is absolutely guaranteed solvent until 2040-something because it has a 2.5 TRILLION dollar separate trust fund surplus!”

“But,” I said, “Can’t Congress dip into that fund to pay for other bills?”

He looked at me like I never graduated from Junior High School.  “Franco,” he said, “Any Congressperson who votes to take money out of Social Security is as dead as a Mafia snitch at a mob hunting party.  The AARP (American Association of Retired People) would crucify him! And they’re one of the biggest blocks of voters in America.”

Something clicked in my head. “Right now,” I said, “we’re still spending $2 to $3-billion dollars A WEEK in those rat holes of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Do you mean to tell me that if we stopped those hopeless wars, we could pay off the ENTIRE 2010 Social Security deficit IN LESS THAN A MONTH!? Like, before Halloween?”

“Well, theoretically,” he said. “But the government just doesn’t work like that.”

“I agree with part of that” I said, “The government  JUST DOESN’T WORK!”

Functionally Punctual (FP)

Saturday, September 26th, 2009


I’m ‘on time’ more than most clocks you’ll ever own. I’m ‘on time’ almost every time – and I expect you to be too. But these expectations are too high for most people. They were WAY too high for one of the first women with whom I lived, D_____.

D_____ was late for everything. EVERYTHING! So D____ and I knew we had to work something out to live as a couple. D____ couldn’t drive and I had a car, so our agreement was simple: she got to CHOOSE the time when we left – and I drove at THAT designated time. What could be more fair?

It was a steamy, mid-August afternoon – you almost had to push the air out of the way when you moved. D____ and I had to attend some miserable outdoor function that should have added ‘100% Boredom Assured’ to it’s program. I finally dragged her away from this local version of ‘Night of the Living Dead’.

Halfway home she decided she needed to go to Wegmans for a few things.

“Oooooh,” I groaned.

“C’mon! It will only take a few minutes! We’ll use the ‘Car Leaves’ rule”.

Once parked at Wegmans, the car clock read 2:45 pm.

“Just 15 minutes.” D____ said. “Departure time will be 3:00pm – promise!” I watched her as she shut the car door. Wow did she look great in a dress and heels! I leaned back and turned on the radio. Then, 2:50, 2:54. “Damn!” I thought, “I knew it!” 2:58 – 3:00pm. “OK, that’s it,” I said to myself. I backed out of the space and slowly started for the exit.

That’s when I saw her in the rear view mirror. She had a paper grocery bag in each arm and was running very well for a tall blond in heels. I had forgotten she was on the track team in high school. And she almost made it!

The phone was ringing when I got home. I had a pretty good idea who it was.

D____ and I no longer live together.

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A Dark Eye for a Dark Eye; A Truth for a Truth

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Blair Thomas is a biblical scholar and his popular blog, “The Darkened Eye” appears under the “Recommended Blogs” section of the Opinion Page in our local newspaper, the  Democrat & Chronicle.  Basically Mr. Thomas cites one of my favorite quotes from the Bible which concerns the “anti-christ”.

Zechariah 11:17 (King James Version)

“Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

Blair then showed a cover from Time magazine and other pictures to support his belief that President Obama was the anti-christ!


Now I, myself, have been looking for the anti-christ for years to defend my family, friends, and cats from the preaching of this evil devil.  Mr. Thomas and I – both Biblical scholars of some repute – AGREE there is an anti-christ living among us today.  We just DISAGREE about who it is.  He believes the “Dark Right Eye Award” goes to President Obama.  I believe the winner is Arnold Swartzenager. (Tuesday the Cat believes the anti-christ was Morris the Cat – but she’s reading a Cat-techism, not the Bible.)

My proof?  Lookee here:


ALL darkened right eyes!  It’s clear to me, ARNOLD is the Anti-Christ – and this right-wing foreigner posed nude and married into the Kennedy family! ww

What more proof do we need?

I’m Sticking With Sardines

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

I was kicked off the “Recent Blogs” section of Rochester’s major newspaper – again.  I think some right-wing nut complained about my “Cuba” post (5th down from this one).

That’s why I’m going to stick with different aspects of sardines for awhile.  They really are pretty interesting.  And their old cans are pieces of art!




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Packed Like Sardines

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

CSM106966I know you know why so many sardines are squished into a flat can: the fish are cheaper than the oil used to pack them. You knew that, right? Of course – but what kind of fish are sardines? Are there schools of sardines swimming around the oceans – especially in the Mediterranean next to Sardinia where they got their name?

Well, yes and no. You see, lots of fish can be sardines. There’s really no official species that qualifies – until it gets close to the can. Sardines can be herrings, round herrings, pilchards, sprats and many other kinds of fish. The only defining characteristic of sardines is size -they must be under 4-inches. That’s it.

I hate it when things are defined only by size.

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Thank you, Mary

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009


“I’d sing out love between my brothers and my sisters – all over this land”

Mary Travers


Maybe Lincoln was Talking During the Play

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009


How many times have you tried to watch a movie or play in a theatre and some clods keep talking or let their cell phones ring? What do you do?

James J. Cialella Jr. knew what to do. Last Christmas he tried to watch “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in a Philadelphia theater. However, his movie watching experience quickly went down hill because a family in the first row continued to chat. He asked them to stop. They ignored him. He asked them again. The young son laughed and made wise-ass comments about him. He threw a bag of popcorn at the kid. Then the people started talking and laughing LOUDER.

So James stood up, walked over to the family in the first row, pulled out a .380 and shot the father in the arm. Then, as the theatre burst into chaos with people screaming and running for exits, James calmly sat down and continued to watch the movie. One suspects he had his choice of seats.

The police soon arrived and arrested Mr. Cialella. He’s now charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and weapons violations. The father has been released from the hospital.

What do I think they should have done to James J. Cialella? I think they should have given him Barrack OBama’s old seat in the Senate and his money back because he didn’t get to watch the rest of the movie.