Friday, September 27, 2013

Smart Ass Phone

I’m a little distracted.

Well…that’s not exactly true.

I’m a lot distracted.

I finally broke down and bought a smart phone.

Yeah…I know.

Crazy, right?

I mean who needs a phone that’s smarter than them?

I have enough trouble with people who are smarter than me…which is mostly everyone.

And now I have a phone that corrects my unwieldy grammar.

And tells me that I tied my shoes backward.

I didn't even know there was such a thing as backward shoe tying.

And to be honest, I’m not sure that there is.

I think the phone is messing with me.

It’s just that smart of a phone.

Smart ass phone, actually.

Anyway, were well into the second decade of the 21st century so I thought I better catch up with the new technology before it moves on again, which should take place by the weekend.

Truth is, my old phone really wasn't all that dumb.

It just wasn’t considered smart.

It didn’t do well with standardize testing.

Not that it was the phone’s fault. It’s just the way the system is skewed toward the more pricey operating systems.

The good thing about my old phone was that since it wasn’t considered “smart” they couldn’t charge me all those outrageous minimum data fees they force on you, otherwise.

I could still do some limited internet surfing and send and receive e-mails, but of course I needed a telescope to read it and some Lilliputians to enter the text for me.

Slender fingered Lilliputians, at that.

So, like I said, after nearly 4 years, one month of snow burial and a machine washing, it was time to put the old fella to rest.

And sure, I feel bad about it. It’s hard to look at the poor little guy sitting there all alone now, its memory card removed, its unadorned display whimpering, “And after all we’ve been through together….”

But time waits for no phone…plus the new shared data plans are a little more reasonable.

So I upgraded…to a phone that tells me how many wasted calories are in that bag of potato chips I’m munching on; not to mention the percentage of saturated fat now racing through my blood stream.

I mean, really…do I need that?

Of course not…I’m married.

Which means I also don’t need something else to tell me when I’m driving too fast, in the wrong direction…possibly in the wrong town.

What would Z have left to do…except of course for the five thousand other things she does…in the morning…before breakfast.

But I picked up the exact same phone for Z, so she’s not immune to the hectoring, either.

That’s just something I learned a long time ago. I always make sure we have the same phones; this way, between the two of us we’re usually able to figure out all the ins and outs before the year is through.

Z can actually make a call, already.  And before you know it she’ll be able to talk to somebody she actually knows.

And we should have texting down by Thanksgiving…we hope.

The camera’s pretty cool, too. It has more of those megapillys than my first digital camera.

You’d be amazed at the detail it can reproduce of the inside of my pocket.

You actually feel as if you could pick the lint right out of there.

I can also check my Twitter feed and Tweet from anyplace I want…as long as I wash my hands afterwards…for the most part.

The real problem is I’m one of those people who needs to know EVERYTHING about every new gadget I bring home.


When I purchased my first HD TV, a while back, I spent two whole days trying to get just the right font for the closed captioning on the Korean channel.

Just in case….

So, whenever I get a new phone I want to know everything it’s capable of, lest I miss out on something important.

How would you feel if your phone had the ability to determine precisely just how many Jellybeans were in that bowl on the candy store counter, just by taking a photo…and you didn’t know about it?

Really…how would you feel?

So you know where I’m coming from.

Or maybe you don’t.

But what you should know is now, no matter where I’m coming from, I can check my e-mail, watch a ball game or post my exact location, just in case you want to come hang out or something.  Maybe play a little Candy Crush.

I mean one of these days I’ll be able to do that…probably…once I figure out how to reset the power button to actually turn the phone back on.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Flipping Polarity

I heard the sun is flipping polarity…whatever that means.

Just what I need….

Now I suppose I’ll have to flip all my solar panels too….

I guess that explains all the crappy cloudy mornings back in August.

Even the weather is confused….

The sun…just can’t leave well enough alone.

And now I have to go to my in-laws for a BBQ. 

They’re hard enough to deal with under normal polarity…now what?

I don’t know.

I mean…really…I don’t know.

The sun is flipping polarity and nobody seems to care.

Well, just wait until they have to turn all their batteries around.

People never seem to pay attention until suddenly the problem affects them…like flipping all their batteries.

Or not….

Maybe the batteries will be fine.

I don’t know…like I said.

It’s all a little vague.

They say this happens every 11 years or so.


How come I’ve never heard of it before?

Have you?

Then again I never heard of Twerking before.

Have you?

Here are the facts—not about Twerking—right from the horse mouth, which I’ve always found an odd phrase since, to be honest, the stuff that come out of horse’s mouth can sometimes be disgusting.

“During a magnetic field reversal, the sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. And this time there's a twist: Data shows that the sun's two hemispheres are oddly out of sync, with the North Pole already beginning to change and the South Pole racing to catch up. That means that for now, at least, the sun effectively has two South Poles.”

I knew it…I knew something was out of whack!

At first I thought it was those bargain shoes I bought…but now it makes perfect sense. 

The entire sun is out of whack!

And we’re not concerned about this people?


Two South Poles?????

What next?

Maybe we can change the color to a nice lavender.

This is the sun we’re talking about!

I don’t mean to be a pessimistic alarmist—okay, I do—but what if a little matter like the sun’s polar magnetic field goes to zero…and then doesn’t come back?

Do you know what that could do to our cable reception?

I mean you do realize “Homeland” is about to return, don’t you?

And what about my tan.

It fades fast enough, come this time a year…can you imagine if there’s no sun, how quickly it’ll disappear?

There are lots and lots of questions.

Some, unlike mine, which actually make sense.

But the scientists say not to worry….

They say that eventually both poles will catch up with each other, meet for drinks and sort it all out. The sun's North Pole will show the sun’s South Pole where all the good take out places are, and the sun's South Pole will reciprocate by introducing the sun’s North Pole to all the hot super novas that hang out down there, over the winter.

So it should be okay.  They say the only people who will really feel any definite effects are astronauts, and hey…how many of us actually know any astronauts. 

I mean real astronauts, not like my neighbor Phil who claims to winter on Venus.

And if we’re really lucky this whole thing will take place at night and we won’t even know it happened.

The sun...flipping polarity....

It's always something.....

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Last Full Moon of Summer

It was nice to see the full moon yesterday morning.
It had slipped low, behind the tree out back; brilliant as a cracked canvas of piercing light.
It had reigned high overnight, overhead, spreading its magic down below.
Stirring the brew, erasing the dark, illuminating the veil.
I stood there watching as this last full moon of summer packed its things, until finally it wandered away, dragging with it the final days of boundless warmth and endless sunshine.
Fall arrives on Sunday.
I hope it brings cake….
It would be nice if it brought cake…. 

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Reincarnation’s Not For Everybody - Redux

Original Post 2/22/12

Reincarnation’s not for everybody.

Mostly if you’re still alive.

If you’re still alive, reincarnation can wait awhile…or else it might get too confusing.

We’ve all seen and heard about people who talk about having had a past life; about having certain memories or talents that have passed over into their current lives.

There’s always some young 3 year old prodigy who can play Mozart like, well…Mozart…or your cousin’s 2 year old who strangely knew exactly where to find that wad of cash your great grandmother hid in that old sofa in the basement.

 So I guess it must be true.

The thing is, how come most people, who talk about their past lives, always think they were someone famous, like Michelangelo, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, George Washington, Amelia Earhart or even Maury Amsterdam.

No one was ever just some guy from Idaho who grew beets in Oshkosh for a living.

Could it be that, maybe, you weren’t really Pythagoras, after all. Maybe you were just the guy who did Pythagoras’ laundry. The guy who actually worked up the famous theorem but never got credit for it because he mistakenly wrote it up on the back of Pythagoras’ laundry bill it and gave it to him by mistake. 

Why couldn’t you be that guy?

Or the guy who told Lincoln “Go on…go out and see a show tonight!  It was a long war…you’ve earned a break”.

You could be him…right?

And of course no one ever considers that maybe—just maybe—they could have been some sort of a cockroach or something. 

I mean somebody had to be…right?

Do you think the cockroaches just come back, as what…flies?

Or maybe you’ll be a cockroach in your next life.

Ahhhh…never thought of that huh?

But you’re thinking being a cockroach would be a major regression. 

Not necessarily true; maybe it’s a step up.  For one, cost of living expense for cockroaches are almost non-existent.  They don’t own…and, for the most part, don’t pay rent…and if they do it’s negligible. 

Cockroaches are not fussy eaters. They’ll basically eat anything that’s put in front of them, much like most of my in-laws…especially the guy-in-laws.    

But everyone appreciates a good eater.

Crime in the cockroach community is among the lowest of all pests.  You just don’t see a cockroach taking a crumb that doesn’t belong to him. It’s part of their strong, moral, cockroach code.

And that’s another thing…food. There’s always plenty of free food left behind by over indulgent humans that a cockroach rarely has to order in, which is good cuz cockroaches are notoriously bad tippers.

Cockroaches aren’t concerned about fashion.  Just about any kind of exoskeleton suits them, and when they get tired of it they just molt and grow a new one. 

And don’t forget about that whole cockroach survival thing. It's said that after any sort of Armageddon like event, which folks seem to like to predict every few months or so, the cockroaches are the most likely species to survive.

Them and Newt Gingrich. 

Not sure why. 

I think it has something to do with the levels of radiation cockroaches are able to tolerate.

With Gingrich, I think it’s more about a well-developed defense and denial mechanism.

In either case they’ll both probably mutate over time and grow to enormous proportions with large heads and egos.

Maybe even run for president.

So cockroach…Gingrich. 


See, the cockroach scenario isn’t looking half bad right now…is it?

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Hard to Believe! - Redux

Original Post 6/25/11

Well, I’m outta here! 
I’m rolling in the dough!
I didn’t want to say anything earlier cuz I didn’t want to jinx it, but it looks like it’s a done deal.
You’re looking at…(well not really looking at, I hope…cuz if you are I have to go change my, well, never mind)…You’re looking at the person who just cashed in, big time, for Five Million Two Hundred Thousand Buckos!!!!

You heard me…. Five Million Two Hundred Thousand Buckaroonis!!!

Pretty exciting huh? 

Hard to believe…I know.  But I have the OFFICIAL E-Mail from the bank that says it's 'TRUE!!! 

See for yourself.  Here it is in black & white..or black & blue & white...with a little splash of yellow thrown in.
Better yet, let’s look at it together….

(See this is the bank. Thought I was kidding didn’t you?)
(Credit Manager) HOHC Group, New York. 
(Look it’s from the Credit Manager and everything!!)
HOHC Holdings Ltd, P.O. Box 60170, NY, 14270.USA
24 Hours Banking Center 
(Which is good to know in case you ever need an ATM)

(Final stage!  I don’t really recall the other stages,but they must have been something!)

Attn: Mr. Beneficiary.  
(See “Mr. Beneficiary” that’s me…the official me)

This is to inform you that the transfer completion of your $5, 200.000.00 - Five Million Two Hundred Thousand Dollars- Only will be done today, the transfer of your fund will be finalized today at exact 8: 53 GMT.
(Okay who’s laughing now???)
This honorable bank  (See…an HONARABLE BANK. What’s better than an HONARABLE BANK?) have received a standing order from the U.S. Department of the Treasury (that’s US of A to you!) to release your compensation Benefit Fund value at $5, 200.000.00-(Five Million Two Hundred Thousand United State Dollars-Only to you, (TO ME, MUCHO MOOLLA…TO ME!) this compensation benefit payment is released to all those whom have fallen victim of Nigeria Scam

(I swear I thought that thing was legit. I mean the guy looked like a real Prince. He even had a Crown; he wore it all the time…I mean ALL the time)  therefore the President of this Country MR. BARACK OBAMA (As in Mr. Yes We Can…and Yes WE WILL!) have directed the just
elected president of Nigeria (I guess his name must have slipped his mind. Probably one of those difficult to spell names…like Roger) to compensate many that have fallen victim of frauds from Nigeria. (sad just sad)

Prior to this, we have also received an instruction from your Lawyer/partner Barrister, Mrs. Janet White  
(I didn’t even know I had a lawyer, let alone a partner, let alone a Barrister. How cool is that!) that the said funds be credited to the account stated below and the paying bank (HOHC BANK NEW YORK, U.S.A) has been update, (so obviously  he’s a little rusty on his “elements of style”. I mean who isn’t?) ) this honorable bank therefore wish (You know, I know “professional writers” that make more typos than this guy, so just cut him a break…ok…ok? He was probably excited too!) to inform you that a final crediting will be made to your below stated account, as soon as that is done your fund transfer Voucher and Remittance Certificate alongside your transfer TELEX COPY  (I mean not everyone still has a TELEX machine, now do they?) will be send to you.

Thank You In Anticipation,

(I’m so anticipational I’m sleeping in my shoes tonight... I mean my good shoes, not the ones I usually sleep in!)

Rev. Roy D. Marston
(See he’s a Reverend and everything. And Reverends’ don’t lie…except when God tells them tto

Director of Remittance Department.
HOHC Holdings Ltd, P.O. Box 243705 NY 34570.USA

(This is his E-mail. He must be realty really busy! I must have sent him a gazillion e-mails with a gazillion questions and he hasn’t had time to answer me…until now that is… Five Million Two Hundred Thousand Dollar answers, BABY BABY BABY!)

So I guess I’ll be seeing ya'll around, sometime; maybe at the Yacht Races. I’ll be the one dressed like Gilligan.
I already put my order in for the twin helicopters.  The Paint shop said they should be ready any day now.
And you thought I was kidding!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spider Sense - Redux

Original Post 10/17/11

For the past couple of months we’ve been living inside a giant spider web.

This makes walking out the door at any time a challenge, but especially when I go out to get the paper, in the morning, when it’s still dark.  Then I end up with a face full of web and one testy spider to deal with.

Usually I just apologize and walk away sheepishly. There’s no use trying to reason with arthropods; believe me I’ve tried.  They’re stubborn as all get out and once they get themselves wrapped up in something, usually you, there’s no changing their minds.

Sometimes I feel as if the spider is annoyed with me. Well, I mean at times other than when I destroy a whole nights web work. 

It’s not an overt kind of annoyance.  Just something subtle I detect in his body language, or the haughty way he sit in his web. It could be I’m just paranoid, but I detect a little judgment.

Like, “Hey buddy, I’ve been up all night spinning webs, and catching bugs, what’ve you’ve been doing tapping on your little machine there all day?”

That kind of thing….

Sometimes the spider wiggles his many arms and legs—it’s hard to differentiate—right in my direction, mocking my obvious deficiency in that area. Spiders are very petty and will often become somewhat personal in their disparagement. I usually just let it go since I see it as a self-esteem issue.

We also have a lot of these tiny little gnat like flies on our deck at the moment.  As flies go they’re almost like pets, since they seem to be very attached to me and will hover around my face most of the day.  If I’m eating a bowl of cereal they will hover around the rim as if to say, “Hey…what ya got there, buddy?”

And it’s not a simple job to get rid of these little friendly pests.  If you swat at them, they’re so small, they just slip through the cracks in your fingers. Or they have so little substance that the just ride it out on the palm of your hand.

I swear sometimes I think I can actually hear them yelling “weeeeeeeeee”.

So I turned to the spider one day and said, “What’s up with the little flies?  How come they’re slipping through your web, Mr. Big Shot, overrated, fly catcher?”

I know this annoyed the spider to no end, because beside their low self-esteem issues, they're also very sensitive to criticism…of any kind.

Try telling a spider they look like they’ve put on a few pounds, or even worse, that they might have made their web a little bit tighter and a little bit bigger if they hadn’t wasted all that time talking to the fly.

“Have you seen the size of those little buggers?" the spider said, feigning indifference to my slight.  “I’m looking for bigger fish to fry.”

I found this an odd thing for the spider to say since, one, I’ve never seen him fry anything, only broil, and, two, I was pretty sure he wasn’t a fish person.

To be honest I think he was just trying to save face…wherever that was located.

“Besides,” he continued. “I like how they get in your nose and annoy you all day.”

“Nice,” I said. “Well, don’t worry.  Pretty soon the cold will be setting in and your web building days will be over.”

But the second the words were out of my mouth I wanted to kick myself. The spider noticeably slumped in his web. He didn’t need to hear that.

“But you’ll move into the basement, right?” I said, scrambling to cover for my insensitive remark. “Up above the furnace, where it’s nice and warm.”

“Nah…I’m not an indoor bug.  “I’ll probably just go underground and sleep until spring.”

“But you’ll say goodbye before you go. Right?”

“Can’t really say…”

And with that I thought back, wistfully, to all those hot summer nights looking up at the stars through the web that enclosed us.

Those sultry mornings, having coffee on the deck observing the intricate artistry of a web half spun.

“But you’ll definitely be back?”

“That’s the plan, Stan,” the spider said, but I could hear the uncertainty in his voice, perhaps because he knew my name wasn’t Stan.

And with that I unwrapped myself from the chair he had secured me to, walked through a wall of silk and passed through my back porch door.

He’ll be back, I thought. He’ll be back….

Then began swatting the annoying little flies hovering around my nose…..

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Tomorrow - Redux

Original Post 10/12/11

When I was a kid, “tomorrow” was a very vague and flexible concept.

Tomorrow was when I would mow the lawn, write that English paper, throw away all those empty cartons of left over Chinese food that had accumulated under my bed throughout the months of January and February…okay, and sometimes March...and April. 

There was always tomorrow. 

I mean not that there isn’t any more.  Hopefully, at the tender age of 57, there’re lots of tomorrows ahead for this Buckeroo…hopefully. 

But let’s face it, I’m at the age where the yesterdays are beginning to outnumber the tomorrows. 


Just a bit….



It’s always been hard to argue with yesterday.

That book’s already been written…and yeah, maybe you did look a bit like the great unwashed and badly mustachioed during your college days; but you were working it. 

But there's no running away from those shirts with collars the size of Philadelphia that you wore in your mid 20’s.

And need I mention that squirrelly little pony tail you developed when you turned 40....

But not so tomorrow; tomorrow’s an untold story full of fresh pages, rife with endless possibilities. 

Once, tomorrow was when you’d worry about the results of all the errant behaviors you engaged in throughout your “not now” youth. 

Things like cracking your knuckles.  

You’re going to pay for that someday when you get arthritis fingers…”

“I’ll worry about it tomorrow…”


Eating bowl after bowl of Hersey’s chocolate syrup with 6 scoops of coffee ice-cream drowning somewhere underneath.

“Do you know what you’re doing to your cholesterol...?”

“I’ll worry about it tomorrow…

Noshing on box after box of Oreos, Mallomars and Fig Newtons, just cuz you like em…you’re darn tootin …and on and on and on.

You’re gonna be so fat someday….”

“I’ll worry about it tomorrow…

When I was a kid I thought I was indestructible.  I would bounce instead of break.

I wanted to be a stunt man so I would ride my bike through the park and fall off as if I was shot by invisible enemy agents.

No wall was too high for me to escape my wanna be captors.

I had the secret code that would disarm the dooms day device.  I had to get it to the President!

Somebody had to…

There was no baseball, basketball or football too far to dive for… not when there was a world championship at stake.

My motto when playing sports was, “If ya ain’t dirty, you weren’t trying hard enough”.

I even managed to get dirty playing tennis.

I used to fall over the net...a lot.

Somebody had to…

Whatever it was, the consequences didn’t seem to apply at the time.

I’d worry about it tomorrow.

Well, now it’s pretty much tomorrow and while I’m still not all that worried about it, I have to admit that various body parts and joints have been known to rise up and say… “Ah haaaa!” from time to time.

There’re a couple of troublesome discs residing in my spine, both upper and lower regions that have been known on occasion to shout out, ‘Hey, not so fast there ,buddy”.

And my hands have been known to bark at me for about a week after hammering a couple of nails on a weekend…or folding my socks.

My back has been known to seize up on occasion; you know when I’m exerting myself…picking up the newspaper

But for the most part so far so good.

My teeth are still intact…and more importantly still my own.  But I need to make a dentist appointment.


My cholesterol and blood pressure seem to be okay, but I haven’t seen a doctor to have it checked in about 15 years.


I walk 4, sometimes 8 miles a day… unless my knees are sending me nasty postcards reminding me of those 10 foot leaps, not to mention all those pavement pounding miles I accumulated during my 25 years of running.

I should probably see someone about that.


But right now I’m off for maybe my final trip to the beach this year before that aforementioned winter freeze sets in.  My quickly fading summer skin is in dire need of a tune up.

I know…after 50 plus years of fun in the sun I should probably get a dermatologist to check me out.

And I will….

You know when…

Because it’s always a day away…..