Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Reason to Believe

Springsteen has an unbelievable song on the great Nebraska record.

Reason to Believe is my beautiful wife's favorite song.

I think it's right up there for my sister-in-law Dana and my buddy Pops as well. It's definitely in my top ten. The lyrics are astounding:

Seen a man standin' over a dead dog, lyin' by the highway in a ditch
He's lookin' down kinda' puzzled, pokin' that dog with a stick
Got his car door flung open
He's standin' out on highway 31
Like if he stood there long enough that dog'd
get up and run.

Struck me kinda' funny
Seemed kinda' funny sir to me
Still at the end of every hard earned day
People find some reason to believe.


That first verse is unbelievable, isn't it?

I was shocked to my gills last week.

I was behind the wheel of my car, driving back and forth, trying to figure some things. I just kept thinking:

Life is just ridiculous.

Ridiculously sad.

Ridiculously cruel.

I knew that I needed to make peace with it somehow.

Now Mary Lou loved Johnny with a love mean and true
She said 'Baby I'll work for you everyday and bring my money home to you."
One day he up and left her, and ever since that
she waits on the end of that dirt road
for young Johnny to come back.

Struck me kinda' funny
funny, yea indeed, how at the end of every hard earned day
you can find some reason to believe.


Great second verse, huh?

The possibility of hope.

I returned home late in the week and my ever-optimistic boy, Sam, did his best to get me involved in a conversation about baseball...a love we share.

He made me laugh.

Take a baby to the river.
Kyle William they call him
Wash the baby in the water
Take away little Kyle's sin

In a whitewash shotgun shack
An old man passes away
Take the body to the graveyard
and over him they pray
Lord won't you tell us
Tell us what does it mean?

At the end of every hard earned day
people find some reason to believe.


Verse three entered my mind on what was my third drive back from the accident scene which was more than an hour away.

Lord won't you tell us?

What is the reason?

Congregation gathers
down by the riverside
Preacher stands with his bible,
groom stands waitin' for his bride.

Congregation gone
and the sun sets behind a weepin' willow tree
Groom stands alone and
watches the river rush on
so effortlessly.
Wonderin' where can his baby be.

Still at the end of every hard-earned day
people find some reason to believe.


The rain pelted the windows hard, just beside my bed.

It was the middle of the night.

Not much made much sense yet.

I felt the power of the storm with my dog right beside me.

The rain was coming down in sheets.

What is the reason for it all?

Why do we still believe?

Tired.

Fearful.

Sad.

The dog nuzzled close to me and we just watched the storm.

Thunder crashing.

Bolt after bolt lighting up the sky.

My dog and me.

Looking out the window in the middle of the night.

The lyrics swimming in my head.

At the end of every hard earned day...

...people find some reason to believe.


RIP Mark.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tommy Rainbow

The thing about the court ruling this week is that the country has changed colors on the gay community.

My thinking has certainly changed as well.

Let's take it back about 33 years.

When I was 18 years old if someone called you gay you were supremely insulted. In fact, during those years, teenagers from all over used gay as a way to start a fight...there were a whole bunch of other names that went along with that. All of those names are now considered horribly offensive.

When we said them...we were just looking to be hurtful...to guys we figured weren't really gay...but may have seemed less than masculine.

Still.

It didn't appear that I actually knew someone who was really gay back then. At least, if I did, they kept it quiet.

Cut to college.

During my freshman year I decided that it might be fun to be in a couple of plays.

Yeah...I wanted to do some acting!

Gannon University had a great theater community and I believe I received class credits for my starring appearance in two plays. I do remember telling my roommate and lifelong buddy, Mike Palmer, that I liked being in the plays, but that everyone seemed a tad off.

"That's cause they're all homos. The guy who's directing the play is really gay," Mike said. "We should call him Tommy Rainbow."

Yep.

33 years ago Mike mentioned that.

But a small-town boy from North Collins wasn't convinced. So the next time I saw Tommy I said exactly this:

"My roomie thinks you're gay," I said.

"I am a homosexual," Tommy said.

My face must have registered great shock or fear or disbelief.

"But we can direct plays, and have conversations, and even be friends with people who aren't gay."

Tommy Rainbow offered the first lesson to me.

By the way...I was unbelievably great in those two plays...had a ton of fun. Even fell in love with the co-star of the first play, a senior named Marissa. As a freshman I worked up my nerve to ask her if she'd like to go to a real play at the Erie Playhouse.

I held the two tickets I had purchased out to her.

Marissa took them from my hands and shrieked!

"Of course I'll go!" she said. "Two tickets! My boyfriend will be so excited!"

Yep.

I gave two tickets away.

And they say that gay people have trouble.

But back to our story...

...Tommy took a lot of heat from a lot of guys. Mike and I were friends with him. We may have been the only guys on the floor who thought 'Tommy Rainbow was all right.'

And that changed things.

Mike's acceptance (he was from the great state of New Jersey near NYC) allowed me some range when it came to thinking about the lives of gay people.

And then I spent a summer working construction in San Francisco.

And seeing men holding hands with men, while still shocking to my small town sensibilities, allowed me a thought process that is unchanged today:

We can direct plays, and have conversations, and even be friends with people who aren't gay.

Yet...there were my religious beliefs!!

What about those???

How could I reconcile the gay life with what the nuns had tried to guilt me into??

"It's not your life," Mike said all those years ago. "You don't have to reconcile Tommy Rainbow's life with your religion."

And who knew that a short, soon to be balding, borderline alcoholic, could prove to be so wise.

It didn't matter to me.

As a decent human being, however, I could still be friends with Tommy...

...Tommy Rainbow.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Historic Week

One of the escapees was shot and killed.

There were terror attacks on 3 continents.

The Affordable Care Act was deemed constitutional again...after about the 30,000th challenge.

And same-sex marriage became the law of the land.

Quite a week, huh?

It's a funny thing about history...it doesn't seem historic at the very moment when it's happening and in this fast-paced world...our attention span is sort of short.

Everything is the greatest this or the worst that...

...but this week will linger, I believe.

On the healthcare and same-sex marriage decisions alone there will be long-term ramifications.

Good or bad?

That's up to you, I guess.

It's also up to history to show us what way the cookie crumbles.

But you know what?

I basically missed all of it.

I spent the week in my own sort of turmoil as the worst part of my job reared its ugly head. I had to assist in an incident review that cost a man, a good man, his life.

An accident.

And I can't even begin to express the toll that it takes on all involved.

Emotionally it's horrific.

I knew, all week long, that I was just one of about a couple hundred people who was suffering because of the accident.

And by the end of the week I was searching for answers to questions that have no answer.

Yet I reached a conclusion of sorts.

I clung to those in my family.

We celebrated Sam's birthday.

We headed out to see Ted 2.

We went to dinner and Sam was my eating partner as we decided:

Life's too short to not eat steak and lobster.

(Thank God I have a boy who likes to eat those things - and his steak is rare as well - he joins a long line of Fuzzy men).

At the movie we laughed a lot.

Thank God for Seth McFarland.

And on the way home, we shared our favorite jokes and laughed some more.

The Yankees, pasta, rest and a prayer or two.

Even when history is being made and even when life rears its ugly head...

...it all comes back to finding a little soft spot in the middle of the hard road...

...to just lie down and rest.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

D.B. of the Week - Confederate Flag Fighter

I am not in the South.

I don't know the significance of the confederate flag.

I mean...I know what people are saying...but I don't feel anything one way or another.

So I should probably keep my mouth shut, right?

Wrong!

I think everyone talking about it, debating it, spewing hate over it, crying over it...

...are the D.B's of the Week.

But don't get this wrong, the debate is raging.

Wal-Mart and Amazon won't sell them anymore.

South Carolina is no longer going to fly it at the capital building.

But the fight isn't over!

They're taking our rights away!

Here's the thing:

I don't get pissed off when American people burn the American flag.

(Now I have you yelling, right?)

You know why?

Because Americans through the years have fought for the freedom to protest; to burn the flag.

I don't particularly like it, mind you...but I like that those dimwits have the right to protest.

Got it?

I think it's stupid to burn a flag...I do get pissed...but...

Anywhoha...

Back to the confederate flag.

Are people flying it high as a form of racism?

Maybe.

Isn't it a symbol of a war that they lost?

One guy on talk radio said that the flag should be left alone because it was featured on the General Lee.

Really?

Listen...the kid who busted into that church was monumentally ill.

People want to do something to make some noise.

Will it stop the next racist if the flag is no longer flying over the capital building?

Of course not.

My opinion?

Not a chance.

I'm not falling for that...

...I named everyone a D.B. of the Week for taking a side.

I'm not including myself.

I have plenty of other D.B. qualities.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Hard to Fathom

I work at a job where safety is the main thought of my day...every day.

I go to one site after another, speaking to guys that I've known for years and years.

A whole bunch of guys seek me out to get information regarding OSHA Regulations that are applicable to their work.

Most of the times it's a great job.

I go from site to site...talking to guys, documenting the controls and making observations.

I have loved the job for a long time.

I get up and go...no matter how I feel. I believe that I need to be there...every day...just in case someone needs information.

I really want to save these guys from harm.

And that just can't happen.

Through the years I have had to talk to men about their co-workers who suffered horrific, tragic injuries.

No matter how hard everyone seems to try...

...bad things happen out there.

This week there were three fatalities.

Three men lost their lives...

...just getting up and going to work.

Mistakes may have been made.

Fate may have played a part.

Things could have been done but weren't.

And in the end...

...it tears you up.

I wasn't directly involved with any of the jobs, but I knew a couple of the guys for a long time.

Shared a few laughs...

...talked safety with them.

And as I drove back and forth from one meeting to another as people tried to figure out how things went wrong...I thought about the fact that despite all best efforts...it still happened.

You start to feel useless, I guess.

"Think about all the people you saved through the years," one of my buddies said to me.

You never actually know when you do that though.

You certainly do know when you don't save them.

And that's hard to fathom.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Happy Birthday Sammy Boy

To my buddy...

...he's gonna' win $ in fantasy baseball!

I see Ted 2 and a big steak in his immediate future!

The Yankees will win tonight for you.

Sam is the spirit of the house!

Send him a message today...

...now if I can just talk him out of wearing his Shady jersey.

We love you, buddy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Enigma of A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez was considered the best player in the sport at the start of this century.

He was also hated throughout the sport because he seemed arrogant...he took little time for fans...and he signed a $250 million contract before that was the norm.

Many people forget that it wasn't the Yankees who paid him that money, but the Texas Rangers.

I remember thinking that they overpaid and that I didn't really care that A-Rod wasn't a Yankee.

And then he was...in a trade.

He wanted to go to New York.

Except in New York there was a player already at short.

Derek Jeter was everything A-Rod wasn't.

A winner. A fan favorite. A good guy, by all accounts.

And that crushed A-Rod.

He acted like a child sometimes. Evidently he cheated as so many had before him.

But when A-Rod cheated...the world took notice.

He became the poster boy for bad behavior. Yankee fans booed him. He owned up to the cheating the first time but no one forgave him.

Cause Jeter was standing just to his left.

A-Rod finally took his suspension...he had two, count 'em hip surgeries, and he celebrated his 40th birthday.

The Yankees still owned him.

We all yelled "Cut him!"

But $61 million is still $61 million...even to the Yankees.

So he came back...Jeter no longer to his left.

No one had any idea how it'd go.

A-Rod came to camp and said everything right.

He stood in the batter's box and started smoking line drives.

Friday night he hit a 95 mph fastball into the seats in right for his 3,000 hit.

Only 28 others have done that.

In history.

He blew kisses to his daughters. He choked up during the interview.

I felt a tug.

Yeah...for a guy who's made half a billion dollars. A guy who shamed the 27-time World Champion Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized American Sports.

A little tug.

Good for him to rise above it when no one thought he could.

(I was always a sucker for the Rocky movies).

And then the enigma of A-Rod showed itself again.

The guy who caught the ball in the stands basically told A-Rod to jam his request for the ball in the spot where the steroid needle went.

A-Rod laughed it off.

That'll be the history of the guy.

Do you root for him?

Do you hate him forever?

He didn't kill people.

He made his fortune with a ball.

On Friday he got another moment in the sun.

There's a lesson in there somewhere.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Manhunt

The two men who escaped from prison were spotted all over the state, evidently.

The truth of the matter is that they probably haven't traveled very far, but man, if you read the social media sites you'd come up with a whole bunch of information.

1). The Cops Suck.

This is a really hot subject. There are people out there who really hate the police. From the incompetent morons who allowed the escape to the bumbling idiots who are policing the state...if you read the social media banter...it's just one miscalculation after another.

The cops just don't have a clue, and the guy who is typing the message would have grabbed the escapees in about three minutes.

The other bash-the-cops topic includes the overtime they're getting and someone ALWAYS jumps in and says Cuomo or Obama are to blame!

2). The State is Just Trying to Gather Information for Future Use.

I'm not of the opinion that someday the government is coming after me.

I don't think that they are gathering information in the ruse of escaped prisoners to see if I'm harboring guns or growing pot.

Some people think that this is exactly what is happening.

The cops were going door-to-door to warn people in Friendship, New York and they were most likely looking around to make sure that someone wasn't being held against their will...

...but man!

There are a lot of angry people out there:

"If they try to get onto my property without a warrant, I'm shooting...it's that simple."

Really?

3). Those Murderers Better Not Come Near Me Or They'll Be Sorry!

There are a ton of tough guys out there. I saw photos of guys with their guns...

"Locked and loaded!"

...one guy wrote.

Beautiful.

I'm all for defending oneself, but there's a tickle in the back of my mind that says that perhaps the lone wolf may get a little frightened if the two killers showed up.

And yet:

4). There Are People Still Pulling for the Criminals!

I'm not kidding...and I don't understand it...but there are people who are hoping that the escapees evade the police forever.

"There (they never get they're right) down in Mexico, you dumb bastards! You won't ever see them again!!"

Me?

I'm rooting for the cops.

I would let them do whatever they needed to do if they thought the guys were hiding in the ravine behind my house. I really wouldn't worry about my rights being infringed upon.

These two men will kill at first sight.

I'm not a tough guy.

I don't want to ever be interviewed as part of a manhunt and I certainly don't want to be in a body bag at a crime scene.

Stay out of the way.

Let the cops get 'em.

I didn't offer that as an opinion on the social media sites.

Can you imagine?

What a wimp I am.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Birthday Jeff - All Is Well


Written by Henry Scott Holland in 1847.

Death is nothing at all.

It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I
and you are you
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched
unchanged.

Whatever we were to each other
that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone.

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes
we enjoyed together.

Play.
Smile.
Think of me.
Pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort
without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It's the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken
continuity.

What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you
for an interval
somewhere very near
just around the corner.


All is well.

Happy Birthday, brother.

I love you.

I miss you.

All is well here too.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Any fool can be a Father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy!!
Fathers Day Quote by: Philip Whitmore Snr

"The most important thing a father can do
for his children is to love their mother."
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown


Fathers are angels sent from heaven.
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown

Fathers, be good to your daughters. You are the god and the weight of her world.
Fathers Day Quote by: John Mayor

"Father I will always be
that same boy who stood by the sea
and watched you tower over me
now I'm older I wanna be the same as you"
Fathers Day Quote by: Yellowcard

A father is someone that
holds your hand at the fair
makes sure you do what your mother says
holds back your hair when you are sick
brushes that hair when it is tangled because mother is too busy
lets you eat ice cream for breakfast
but only when mother is away
he walks you down the aisle
and tells you everythings gonna be ok
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
Fathers Day Quote by: Jim Valvano

I've had a hard life, but my hardships are nothing against the hardships that my father went through in order to get me to where I started.
Fathers Day Quote by: Bartrand Hubbard

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
Fathers Day Quote by: Clarence Budington Kelland


My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say,
"You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising
boys." Fathers Day Quote by: Harmon Killebrew

One father is more than a hundred Schoolmasters.
Fathers Day Quote by: George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs, 1640

Henry James once defined life as that predicament which precedes death, and certainly nobody owes you a debt of honor or gratitude for getting him into that predicament. But a child does owe his father a debt, if Dad, having gotten him into this peck of trouble, takes off his coat and buckles down to the job of showing his son how best to crash through it.
Fathers Day Quote by: Clarence Budington Kelland

A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again.
Fathers Day Quote by: Enid Bagnold

It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.
Fathers Day Quote by: Johann Schiller

A father carries pictures where his money used to be.
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!
Fathers Day Quote by: Lydia M. Child, Philothea: A Romance, 1836

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
Fathers Day Quote by: Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.
Fathers Day Quote by: Gloria Naylor

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.
Fathers Day Quote by: Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day
should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge.
Fathers Day Quote by: Phyllis Diller

Are we not like two volumes of one book?
Fathers Day Quote by: Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.
Fathers Day Quote by: Red Buttons


I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich.
Fathers Day Quote by: M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter


Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.
Fathers Day Quote by: Dinah Craik

Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again.
Fathers Day Quote by: Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968

A man knows when he is growing old because he begins to look like his father.
Fathers Day Quote by: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

As fathers commonly go, it is seldom a misfortune to be fatherless; and considering the general run of sons, as seldom a misfortune to be childless.
Fathers Day Quote by: Lord Chesterfield

Don't make a baby if you can't be a father.
Fathers Day Quote by: National Urban League Slogan

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Simply Amazed

Dylann Roof doesn't deserve grace.

He walked into the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and sat down with a whole group of people who didn't know him, but they accepted him with nods and smiles.

Moments later he gunned a lot of them down.

Roof wanted to start a race war with his actions.

For a long time, on Thursday, America digested the news and certainly prayed that it wouldn't happen.

I even wrote a blog yesterday that said:

"This is it. It doesn't get any better."

Then I read the CNN post for the story on Friday:

You hurt a lot of people, but God forgives you and I forgive you.

That was just one of many quotes from people who heard the news that a loved one had been killed.

May God have mercy on you.

These aren't leaders of the church...

...these aren't government leaders calling for peace...

These are people consumed in grief...in the courtroom...standing in front of this kid...and saying:

We forgive you.

That is simply amazing to me and it probably is to you.

My life is certainly family centered. There's nothing that I wouldn't do for my siblings, my cousins, certainly for my wife and children.

Forgive someone who slaughtered a family member?

Certainly not 48 hours after it happened.

48 years maybe.

But that's the amazing thing about faith.

That's the miraculous thing about grace.

It's there when you don't expect it...

...and with it you can change the world.

My heart fills with compassion for those poor grieving people.

My mind fills with thoughts of admiration.

Amazing.

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Thoughts And Prayers

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Charleston, South Carolina."

I suppose that we have resigned ourselves that this is all that can be done.

Okay.

That's it, right?

Move on to the next one????????

I listened to the news anchor on the morning news show say this:

"It is unfathomable, in today's society, that people praying in a church can be gunned down."

Really?

It's unfathomable?

In today's society??????

Actually, I think it is entirely fathomable.

It all changed when the 5-year-old kids were slaughtered in Connecticut.

There was no going any lower after that.

There was no way that I could ever be surprised again.

So what's the answer 'Mr. Know-It-All-Blog Writer'?

Gun checks?

Mental health checks?

Suppress our freedoms?

Re-write the constitution?

Do you know that there are people who are willing to defend this mentally-ill kid's rights?

There are!!

Even now.

Millions of people will defend that kid's right to tote a gun without check.

How is that sensible?

And maybe his problem was his very evident mental deficiency.

I'm sure it is...but how the hell are we gonna' figure it out.

Notice that I don't have any answers for you?

Yeah.

Me too.

But unfathomable?

We can't even have a civil conversation of what to do.

Thoughts and Prayers.

Hold our collective breath.

We need to do better than that for the future. We need to study it and figure it out.

But we won't.

This is it.

Sadly...this is what freedom feels like.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

D.B. of the Week - The Donald

Donald Trump is a repeat winner of the D.B. of the Week Award and this week he gets it for simply announcing that he is officially running for president.

I'm not against him running for president, mind you, but he has already stepped in it a few times.

First:

He announced his candidacy while playing Neil Young's Keep On Rocking In the Free World.

It's a great song, but was also a song written in protest (listen to the words) in regard to the first George Bush presidency.

Neil Young is a liberal from the word go and he hates all things GOP.

As soon as I heard the song playing I said:

"Uh-oh!"

It took about an hour for Young to denounce the use of the song and announce that he is all for Bernie Sanders.

Then the Donald stepped up and started to talk.

Second:

Donald said that it's sort of ironic that the prison where the escape happened in New York State is the Clinton Correctional.

Really?

Is that suspicious to you?

I'm thinking he was going for the funny...but in your candidacy speech?

Weird.

Third:

Then the D.B. of the Week...(and it only stands for Dopey Bastard this week)...had a campaign photo sent around.

It was a photo of the Donald...with his hair combed...and the words WE SHALL OVERCOME underneath.

Someone needs to update Donald's I-pod with some of the songs that aren't anti-establishment protest songs.

Pete Seeger wrote the song as a protest against the machine during the Viet Nam days.

A further look into Pete's catalog should let the Donald know that it is also another phrase that he probably doesn't want to use as the foundation of his campaign.

I don't know where Donald goes from here...but it definitely won't be boring.

He's going to mention a lot of things.

He's going to be brutally honest.

He's going to attack, attack and attack...

...but don't be dopey about it.

Finally:

Here's a hint, Donald...don't break out Born In the USA next.

I don't know much about politics, but I definitely know rock and roll and Bruce isn't voting for you either.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Trans-Racial?

Now I've heard everything.

This woman, Rachel Dolezal, was on the Today Show acting all victim-like because she always thought she was a black woman.

Are you freaking kidding me?

She threw the term trans-racial out there!

Trans-racial?

Listen, I have no idea why anyone might decide that they suddenly want to be a different color, but her interview smacked of one thing:

Bullshit.

Matt Lauer asked her point-blank if she thought, growing up, that she might actually be a black person.

She said she used the brown crayon instead of the peach one when she drew pictures of herself!

Obviously she's gunning for the Bruce-Caitlyn type of sympathy...trying to be a hero to all the other people before her who decided that God made them the wrong freaking color!

Come on, now!

And do you know what the best part of this story is?

The crazy hairdos that she was trying out.

Did you see the photo of the wild beehive one?

How was she not laughed out of the office on the day she showed up dressed like that?

Do you think she tried out all the black slang?

Ate different ethnic foods?

Sorry, people.

I ain't buying this one.

Trans-racial!

Good Lord.

And now you know what will happen?

Book...TV show...reality show...

Crazy.

I read the book Black Like Me years and years ago.

There was a point to that.

This crazy woman is saying shit like "visibly I identify as a African-American woman".

"Mom, racially you're human and culturally you're black."

What a crock.

The brother is up on charges.

The parents are calling her out.

We're supposed to feel sorry for what he thinks she is?

I think I'm a chicken.

I used to draw pictures of myself as a chicken.

Am I trans-fowl?

What a dopey bastard.

She sued Howard University as a white woman.

Was she using the brown crayon then?

Crazy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Camp Clifford is Set to Open

Yesterday was the last day of school for Jake & Sam.

You know what is really weird?

We now only have one more kid left at high school age.

I still cut their meat for them!

(That's including the recent college grad).

I still peel their oranges if they appear to be having trouble.

(They all still have trouble).

Who the hell is going to do that when they're adults?

Answer:

Me!

Why would they leave Camp Clifford?

And it will be good to have them around the house a little.

Well...Sam...anyway...he looks around a little at least - fills a water bowl, mows, gets the laundry going.

But don't for a minute think that Camp Clifford will be rough for any of them!

This year we are featuring something new, evidently:

It's called:

Eat A Couple of Pizza's Immediately Following Dinner!

The other night I called them to dinner - their friend Quinn was with them - and they headed to the table carrying 3 pizza's!

I'm not kidding.

"What're you doing with those?"

"They're for after," Quinn said with a laugh.

Then they proceeded to sit down, eat an entire ham, 8 pounds of mashed potatoes and fruit and veggies.

An hour later they were eating the pizza.

By the time I went up to bed...

...the three boxes were empty.

Oh...another added feature here at Camp Clifford?

It's called:

"See if you can drink every single can of soda and every jug of Gatorade in the house before the camp counselor gets home!"

I don't even keep count of how many beverages are downed here on a daily basis.

Slobs!

When does school start again?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Catching Up

Man...I still miss seeing Gandolfini act.

What would make you help two murderers out of their cells?

That woman who assisted in the breakout doesn't strike me as a Rhodes Scholar. Not only did she help them...she then had a change of heart and spilled the beans about all that she did.

It's also amazing that they eluded capture so long...I've been up to that neck of the woods...there are plenty of miles to hide out. If they hurt someone before they're captured that dipshit woman is really going to spend some time in a small cell.

You hear some crazy stories, but there's always another crazier one...

...have you seen the woman who is accused of pretending that she's a black woman? The photos are astounding. She allegedly lived most of her life as a white person, became enamored of black culture, and changed herself into a black woman politician who was a champion for blacks in her community.

Crazy old world.

Jeb Bush versus Hillary Clinton for president?

Really?

Can't we do better than that?

How about this...

...no more Bushes and no more Clinton's.

There have to be other families out there.

I'm tired of their families being in the news.

Why is this the match-up?

Blah!

Have you seen Jurassic Park II or whatever it's called?

Zero interest here...not sure I saw the first one.

I'm waiting on Ted 2...

...Seth McFarland makes me laugh at least five times a week.

This week is Father's Day Weekend...

...funny thing...

I already kind of celebrated it.

You see, my beautiful wife decided that it was yesterday...

...she kept saying it.

"Are you going golfing for Father's Day?" she asked.

So I set it up.

(I soundly whipped one of the Grape Apes...we put on a chipping and putting show!)

On Friday during the week while at a job I told a guy on the site, 'Happy Father's Day.'

He looked at me as if there was something wrong with me.

Then I repeated the chant on Saturday when my father-in-law stopped by.

"Happy Father's Day," I said.

"Little early, aren't you?" He asked.

"It's tomorrow," I said.

"No it isn't, you goofy bastard," he said.

Then my wife laughed.

"I was wrong," she said. "It's next week!"

So I had to change the blog for yesterday morning.

Well.

Happy Father's Day anyway...

...now I'm only 6 days early.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Race for the Cure - Queen Team's 10th Year

Once again the Queen Team raised a lot of money for the Susan G. Komen foundation.


The queen even got congrats from the Mayor of Buffalo.


Jake celebrated his birthday by being one of the first Queen Team members back to the tent.

(How that kid runs so fast should be no great mystery since his Dad is a world-class athlete).

But this year...again...my heart was a little heavy with the thought of cancer as my cousin Jacqui lined up and began the walk.

She's fighting back right now...and to get out there and make her presence felt is an amazing thing.

Truly inspiring.

Like all the rest of the good people who showed up.


It does a heart good to participate.

It's even more special when you know how many people work so hard to try and make the cure a reality.

For those who are in the middle of the battle...

...there are a whole lot of great people right there with you.

A beautiful morning.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Happy Birthday Jake!

We forget the miracles.

It's weird, but Kathy mentioned just a couple of words last night when she was thinking of Jake's early days.

"Remember how sweet he was?"

Well, that set me off...thinking...about the day of Jake's birth.

The moment when the doc handed him to me and thought about the miracle that I was actually witnessing.

His tiny, perfectly formed feet.

I'm not a man who cries.

At that very moment, I did.

I recall the very thought in my head:

If someone witnesses the birth of their child and doesn't believe in miracles, or God, that man is an idiot.

And as a new Dad I thought about all the things I'd share with my boy as he grew.

Family, sports, my love of reading and writing, the traditions handed down by my parents.

The good things.

Jake caught me as soon as I walked through the doors yesterday afternoon and we talked about a few things real quickly. I had some work to finish, but one of my promises (to myself and my boys) was that I'd be there for them.

Jake showed me a couple of Internet clips.

He's turning 18.

Jake was a good boy.

I thought of the moment when the docs handed him back to us just a few years later.

He'd been really sick.

He was as good as new.

We got two miracles that we'd been counting on.

I cried that day too.

The 18 years have flown by.

I thought of another promise:

As much as possible...I'd raise them without yelling at them.

We'd arrived there without too many crazy outbursts.

"Go grab my wallet out of the car," I said to Jake.

He brought it to me.

I handed him a couple of bills so that he could go to a movie or something.

"Don't tell your mother," I said.

It was something I remember my Dad doing for me...it always made me feel special.

"Aw, man, thanks," he said.

"What do you want to do for your birthday?" I asked.

"I'll go to the breast cancer run," he said. "Aunt Corinne's too."

Family.

We'd done just fine.

(He's not much of a reader though).

Jake's a good man!

Happy Birthday, buddy.

We love you.

Man...miracles make me weep.

(By the way - Matt didn't get his Happy Birthday blog because that week I'd written him two...count 'em two...graduation blogs...besides he's like 30 now...and a big dope).

Friday, June 12, 2015

Triple Crown!

American Pharoah won the triple crown.

I'm surprised the horse didn't get to the podium to announce:

"I'm the best."

But it's weird.

We like to see things in our lifetime, right?

Carl Yastrzemski won the Triple Crown in baseball in 1967.

I can remember thinking that it was going to be really tough to see someone do that again. Who would ever lead the league in batting average, home runs and RBI's?

But it happened when Miguel Cabrera did it a few years ago.

The horse racing Triple Crown was last done in 1978.

Year after year a horse won the first two legs only to lose the Belmont.

Well...we have a winner!

Did you watch any of the races?

Me neither.

I remember going to one of those horse thingies in Richmond, Virginia a long while ago.

The horses weren't running around the track, but were jumping and showing...

...What the hell do you call that?

Anywhoha...

"Aren't they beautiful?" the girl I was with kept asking.

But I just kept wondering:

"Do the horses really want to do that?"

And does the Triple Crown winner actually know what he accomplished.

Does he get extra carrots?

Does he wonder why all the horse chicks are suddenly digging him?

Of course, I may eventually start watching a horse do something someday as Springsteen's daughter is trying out to be an Olympic Equestrian.

That's it!

Equestrian!!!

I'll be a horse expert in no time if they let Bruce open up the event with a two-hour set.

Triple Crown.

We won't see it again in the rest of my lifetime.

Unless someone does it next year.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

D.B. of the Week - Sarah Palin

“This is what Sarah Palin wrote on her Facebook as she tried to explain away the Josh Duggar, 19 & Counting, molestation of his sisters:

"HEY LENA, WHY NOT LAUGH OFF EVERYONE’S SEXUAL ‘EXPERIMENTS’ AS YOU HAUGHTILY ENJOY REWARDS FOR YOUR OWN PERVERSION? YOU PEDOPHILE YOU.” “Radical liberals in media who have total control over public narratives are disgusting hypocrites."”

Where to begin with this woman?

First off, the molestation she is referring to with Lena Dunham (whom I don't know as a liberal, or don't even know at all) was in Dunham's own autobiography. It refers to Dunham saying that at the age of 7 she touched her 1-year-old sister because she was curious.

Dunham was 7.

Dunham self-reported.

It wasn't a cover-up by a family of people who were claiming to be at the right-hand of God while they were hiding what had happened.

Big difference.

Also...Sarah has no idea what 'radical' means, does she.

Thirdly...

Sarah Palin receives the D.B. of the Week not only because she made another nonsensical rant here...

...but because she also used caps all the way through her first sentence.


When are we going to stop putting what she says front and center on the news?

Is this really the person that the tea party wants front and center?

Read that word for word.

She's addressing Lena as if they are Facebook friends.

She calls a confession of a 7-year old an act of a pedophile?

Then 'radical' liberals?

That's not even remotely literate.

Okay...I get it...those who like the Duggars want to find whatever they can to try and make it a non-story.

But there was a cover-up.

The 'radical liberals in media who have total control over public narratives are disgusting hypocrites?'

Let's be real here.

You know what was 'disgusting?'

The molestation...the hiding of it by the family...the 'we locked them in their rooms so Joshua couldn't get at his sisters'...

That was disgusting.

I must admit something:

I am drawn to anything and everything that Palin says.

Not because she can enlighten me.

Ever.

But because she's always right there for D.B. of the Week contention.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Great Escape

What is it that makes us nearly root for people to break out of jail?

Why is the daring escape of the two men from the New York prison near the Canada border so glamorous?

It's the Shawshank Redemption factor, isn't it?

But the two guys who broke out of the prison are really dangerous men.

One of the guys shot and killed a police officer. The other was a career criminal who tortured, killed and then cut up his boss.

Horrendous.

Yet the newspapers and the rest of the media are all over the story. Some of the anchors have reported the escape as if it were a Hollywood script.

I'm thinking that some people are truly hoping that they get away with it.

You know...sticking it to the man, sort of deal.

But make no bones about it...it's a dangerous situation.

About a half dozen years ago a man was on the run here in New York State. Bucky Phillips was a man who ended up shooting and killing a New York State Trooper. Right up until the time that he did that there were people openly rooting for Bucky to get away. A couple of the restaurants in the area put Bucky sandwiches on the menu.

Weird dynamic.

Escape from Alcatraz and Shawshank are on the list of great movies.

Oceans 11 and those types of grand larceny films are also very popular.

Hell...we have been tempted, through the years to find characters like Tony Soprano, Walter White and Dexter as heroes...

...and they were all horrific fictional killers and criminals.

Following the escape here in New York State (a long ways away, thankfully) it was stated that the two men were in someone's backyard in civilian clothes.

They are running free with no intention of getting caught.

They will kill anyone who gets in their way.

And yet there are people dissecting how they made the great escape and some people have gone far enough to praise their efforts.

But it just isn't a movie...it's a tragedy.

And yet...

...there's a tickle there.

We are fascinated with it.

We almost think that their being able to pull it off makes them somehow cool.

We have always been fascinated with criminals who are legendary at committing crimes.

Billy the Kid.

Jessie James.

Tony Soprano.

Hopefully these men will be captured quickly.

Before they kill again.

They aren't cute or brilliant.

They're killers.

And if you're really rooting for them...

...God help you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Am the Best

I've been seeing a really alarming trend lately.

"I think I'm the greatest of all-time," LeBron 'Floppy the Crybaby' James.

"I'm the best running back in the league," LeShon McCoy.

"I'm the best player in the draft," Jack Eichel.

Then check out the buzzer-beating shots in the NBA Playoffs.

The guy who hits the shot...whether it's LeBron, or Paul Pierce, or Derek Rose...

...they all have scowls on their faces.

They're mad!

Now I'm thinking the trend is coming from a society where hip-hop music is all about themselves.

"I'm this and I'm that."

But I always think about a story that I heard a long time ago from a guy who clearly could have said 'I'm the greatest' a time or two...but never did...Derek Jeter.

Jeter was a rookie with the Yankees and he had a great game. He was interviewed and following the interview the captain of the team, Don Mattingly, called him over and told him:

"Try not to let the word 'I' come out of your mouth."

Great advice.

Jeter listened.

Following a Cavs game the other night I read a story that recapped the game.

In about 4 sentences Floppy the Crybaby said 'I' 9 times.

He never once mentioned 'we' or his teammates or his coach or even the freaking fans!

And it's a weird dynamic.

When was the last time that a guy like him ever once lost something in a social situation?

"We're pulling your car up, LeBron."

"Your massage table is ready, LeBron."

"We ordered your dinner, LeBron."

"Can I rub your freaking feet, LeBron?"

How can it not be all about him?

And when that starts to happen you hear all sorts of weird things out of the mouths of people who feel that when it's not about them...they're being disrespected.

And it's not just pampered superstars.

People all around you are wondering...

...What about me?

I'm the best payroll clerk in all the land. I'm the best laborer, I'm the best doctor...

Me, me, me

I, I, I.

Hopefully that's not the way that it will continue to go, but I'm a little concerned.

The new running back is already crowing.

The new hockey player believes he's better than the other guy.

Mattingly had also told Jeter one other thing that day long ago:

"Do what you do. Let other people toot your horn."

A buddy of mine is a true LeBron fan.

I texted him the quote that had 9 'I's' in 25 words and said:

"You ever see that come out of Jeter's mouth?"

My buddy said:

"There won't ever be another Jeter."

Sadly.

That might be true.

(By the way...I'm the best blog writer ever).

The best!

It's not even close!!

(God...that really is annoying!).

Monday, June 8, 2015

Wife Bonus

There's a book making the rounds, written by an Upper East Side of New York wife.

The author, who many are saying made up everything and called it true, claims that women get paid a bonus for doing such things as:

Taking care of the kids.

Keeping the house clean.

And

Making love to their husbands.

Seems to me that this story makes the rounds every few years and there are a whole bunch of social media twists on it that say a stay-at-home-Mom would earn a salary of about 100 G's a year if all her tasks were broken down.

Dopey.

As luck might have it I've discovered the Jenny McCarthy show on satellite radio and good old Jenny chimed in on the subject, also figuring that the bonus plan was a little weird.

These women, with their husbands usually make a decision on a family, right?

How do you think it's going to go in such a situation?

The man isn't going to stay home...pregnant...for obvious reasons.

And Upper East Side?

Don't most of these women have nannies and housekeepers and gardeners?

What's the bonus for then?

Breast-feeding?

Watching Kelly & Michael?

Just the sex?

Wouldn't that make them prostitutes?

I also saw a social media joke the other day that said:

If I have $20 and my wife has $5 then...

...my wife has $25.


That's about it around here.

Most of the guys I know don't really care all that much about amassing large sums of money for ourselves. We like to have a little pocket money and then we turn the rest over.

It usually works better that way.

Sam asked me one day:

"What's the secret to a good marriage?"

"Buy them an I-pad, give them all your money and then shut your freaking mouth," I said.

Sam laughed.

Kathy nodded.

The daily tasks do get tiresome...

...What do you want for dinner?

...The rugs need to be vacuumed.

... The dog puked in the basement.

...The garbage has to go to the road.

We all try and split up most of them.

We don't really keep score.

There aren't any bonuses going out.

Because the money all goes to one pocket anyway.

And the rest of us are beggars.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Everything I Know About Falling Apart

An excerpt from one of the coming stories...getting there...I hope...

Everything I Know About Deconstructing

We begin our lives as blank slates.

Little by little, we learn.

We learn how to stand, how to walk and how to eventually run.

Moment by moment we start putting together a plan.

We try to improve every single day, hopefully, in all kinds of ways.

Our golf score gets better because we take a lesson or two.

Our relationships grow because we learn of understanding, and trust and commitment. We live our lives in a never-ending quest to learn, and that is if we are doing it right.

Yet there comes a moment when we tip to the other side.

The scales go out of balance and we start to go the other way.

There was a time when I wanted to become the greatest baseball player in the history of the world. As a little league player I figured out what it took to stand in the batter’s box and not be afraid. Soon enough I figured out that I could get a single to right field if I just went the way that the ball was pitched.

I started running faster, playing smarter, hitting the ball further and further. Other players started to recognize my strengths, and then opponents started to expose my weaknesses.

For a long, long, long time I thought about the fact that I was getting better. My expectations had changed, but along the way I had turned myself into a fairly good player, and then time tipped the scales.

I remember the moment well.

There were two on and two out in the last inning and I was playing the field, at second base. The pop-up was directly behind me. My mind shifted to the thought that the game was over. I had trained my legs to move. I had taught my eyes to judge the trajectory of the ball, and I raced towards the ball, just knowing that I’d made hundreds of such catches as I’d grown as a player.


But the ball was falling to the ground more quickly than my legs could get me there.

It landed in the grass in right field as I tumbled towards the ground, not believing that I just hadn’t made it. In the end, it didn’t matter much, it was just a recreation league game, and the beer was still cold in the bar after.

“Getting old,” a teammate said to me. “We’re no longer getting better. Now we’re getting worse.”

It seems to me that there is a tipping point in life as well.

We strive and strive and strive and strive, but eventually, it seems that it’s all we can do.

We’re slowly deconstructing, and the world that we live in eventually breaks down completely.

That is everything I know about getting worse.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Build A Moat

Read the story about a parent backing over their child in the driveway. Thankfully, the kid is going to survive, but that's a story that happens way too many times.

It's heartbreaking.

You spend your days just worried, worried, worried about your kids...

...my kids are getting older.

You know what?

The worry has gotten worse.

Now they're out there in other people's cars, or driving around...and you're home...wondering...hoping...checking in.

Last week Jake had prom and then he went to spend some time with his buddies on a camping trip.

I thought it was a horrible idea.

Until I thought about the fact that as a kid we went camping nearly every single weekend...Friday to Sunday...without ever checking in!

We didn't have a phone.

We weren't worried about calling home.

Evidently our parents weren't worried either.

Yet on Saturday night Jake sent a message to Sam that his phone was dying and that he'd turn it on and check in when he could.

He let it go for awhile.

"Heard from Jake?" I asked.

"No, and I'm trying really hard not to freak out," Kathy answered.

I kept telling myself about my camping trips as a kid. Hopefully Jake was behaving. I was trying not to freak out as well.

Another half hour ticked by.

"Where is he, exactly?" I asked.

Kathy told me where the campground was.

We waited a few more minutes.

Sam emerged.

"Jake is fine," he announced. "He wants to know why you're hounding him."

I had only sent one text to him and one to his buddy.

Kathy had sent a few more than that.

And I got to thinking about when we brought them home from the hospital.

I wanted to build a moat around the place so no one could get in and no one could get out.

Guess it doesn't change much when they become adults or near-adults.

"You guys are ridiculous," Jake said when he returned, looking no worse for the wear.

But I know.

He appreciates the fact that we care.

Anyone know how to build a moat?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Caitlyn: I Don't Care

Have you heard about Bruce Jenner?

He's now Caitlyn Jenner.

I'm not sure if you heard that news or not.

Holy crap!

Let's say it all together now:

Who Cares?

And here I go now...get ready to be offended somehow...

But there are points to be made here.

1). It does not deserve the congressional medal of honor for bravery.

Sorry.

I get that it is shining light on the issue of transgender equality. I also understand that he was a well known person before she became a well known one.

I also get that standing up in front of the world to make such an announcement could be nerve-wracking, but at the end of the day...there were a lot of folks who did it first.

While it may be important to the acceptance of transgender people...it is not the bravest thing ever. Give me a soldier who saved fellow soldiers...or a doctor who saves lives...or Jackie Robinson.

2). It does not make me weep that Caitlyn is now happy.

Bruce Jenner was just one person out of billions, right. I'm happy that she is now happy, but again...it's her life. There are so many people out there living brave, lonely, scared, miserable lives. I just don't care enough to get weepy thinking that the world has changed based on Caitlyn's courage...

...because...

3). The world hasn't changed.

People who were bigots yesterday will be bigots tomorrow. People who were accepting yesterday will be accepting tomorrow. I don't see a middle-aged man in the Bible Belt thinking to himself:

'Huh. Maybe I was wrong about my bigoted ideals before.'

Transgender people are in the same boat they were in before the Vanity Fair article hit the stands. People don't just change their way of thinking...they don't.

4). Speaking of Vanity Fair...Caitlyn isn't now the most attractive woman in America!

The talk show hosts who are fawning over how pretty Caitlyn is...may be aggravating me most of all. Those photos are certainly doctored. Her hands are still big. She's 65-years old. She still looks like Bruce Jenner.

In any regard...it is still tough to handle because...

5). It still takes some getting used to.

I don't care how tolerate or intolerant you are...there's still an adjustment to be made to change the thinking of everyone in the world here.

It is still a bit shocking.

It is still a bit disconcerting to some people.

Others believe that it is a perversion and a sin of epic proportions.

Others are standing and cheering.

Me?

I don't care!

I recall Bruce Jenner on the Wheaties box after the Olympics.

I didn't watch the stupid show with his big-ass daughters.

But I'm over it...

...her life is no more important than the life of anyone actually reading this blog.

There are reports that Jenner will now be worth about $500 million dollars.

Yet brave, courageous, world-changing, prettiest woman ever?

I'm just not sure of all that.

I don't begrudge the decision.

I don't care how she lives her days.

I just don't care to see it every single time I turn around.

Good luck, Caitlyn.

I don't really care.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

D.B. of the Week - Adrian Peterson (Again)

You remember Adrian Peterson, right?

He's the All-Pro running back for the Minnesota Vikings.

He didn't play at all last year because he was arrested for beating his kid.

He thought it was discipline.

Well, the NFL graciously reinstated him to his high-paid job, figuring that finishing your community service and saying you're sorry is good enough.

(Who doesn't love a feel good story?)

How is Peterson this week's D.B. of the Week?

Well...he wasn't happy with how he was being paid.

He felt that the Vikings weren't showing him the right amount of respect.

Are you kidding me?

Peterson is the highest paid running back in the league.

He has already received $53 million in guaranteed money!

He is set to get $12 million more guaranteed for this upcoming year.

The money that he is set to receive...if he does his job in 2016 and 2017 totals more than $31 million more!!!!

But he's upset.

He wants more guaranteed money...

...he was set to hold out until he got the respect that he deserves.

And you know what?

He went on a bit of a Twitter rampage to some of his 'fans' to say that the NFL is horrendous to players by not allowing them full security.

As we all know...I'm not a fan of the NFL...

...but is this guy for real?

He misses an entire year because he was suspended, convicted, and publicly shamed and he wants people to feel sorry for him because part of his $80 million isn't guaranteed?

Is your livelihood guaranteed?

What if you tear up a knee?

You know what you get...in most cases?

Yeah...a portion of your salary.

You'll probably lose your home.

D.B. of the week indeed.

How anyone...under any circumstance can ever cheer for this D.B. is really beyond me.

(As I planned this blog post I heard that Peterson changed his mind and decided to show up for work...he said that he wants to keep playing in Minnesota forever).

Now isn't that a feel good story?

What a dope.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Week

Did you happen to see the video making rounds of the 82-year-old man cutting the tires of an 88-year-old woman because she was sitting in his seat in the local Bingo Hall?

The guy wasn't exactly a great criminal.

He was captured on video - Strike 1.

He left footprints in the garden around the woman's car - Strike 2.

He also rested his full palm on the woman's car as he braced himself to bend down and slit the tires - Strike 3.

Yet...I kind of laughed.

Why is it that elderly folks causing trouble like that are kinda' cute?

The guy is in trouble, of course, but I'm wondering if the woman will take the seat again.



We are living in a weird society.



The weather has sucked again the last few days.

I've been mentioning to people that we are only about 50 days away from the possibility of snow flying and while that is certainly an exaggeration...

...it hasn't been a whole lot of fun.

It was 45 degrees on Monday morning.

Throw in the gray and the rain.

Ah, crap.


There's a whole lot of heartbreak around Buffalo here this week.

A mother with two children in a stroller was in Delaware Park. A car jumped the curb and killed one of the kids and badly injured the other.

To even read the recap in the newspaper was absolutely heartbreaking.

I couldn't even finish it.

The speed limit was instantly changed in the area.

The political leaders were all discussing the fact that it never should have been set at 55 mph if here weren't any guardrails up.

None of that matters right now.

It's hard to make peace with that happening.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

What June the 2 Means


Cousins having fun with cousins.

Nieces and nephews battling each other and...

...laughing a lot.


Remembering grandpa...and grandma and grandpa and grandma.

Laughing at the old stories and the old one liners:

"Leave the door open! The flies ain't been out all day!!"


Just being together.

Blood on blood.


Remembering the heroes we had as we grew up.

Like Uncle Jim.


And Dad.


June the 2 is all about family.

Celebrate it!

Eat 6 pork chops!!

They're good for you!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Traffic School

Yeah.

I received a speeding ticket a couple of months back.

Usually I know when I have one coming.

This particular time, however, I don't think I deserved one.

I was in a pack of cars heading up Route 5 in the Town of Hamburg. There is a stretch of road where the speed limit shifts from 55 mph to 45 mph...all for no reason, mind you...other than to catch speeders.

I worked the cruise control.

I had the cruise set at 55 and worked it down to 45 as I passed the sign.

Moments later there was an unmarked car behind me with the lights going.

"You know why I pulled you over?"

"No clue," I said.

"Speeding," he said. "57 in a 45."

"I don't believe so," I said. "I was using the cruise to change speeds. Where did you clock me at 57?"

He pointed down the road!

I'm not kidding.

"Back there a ways," he said.

I almost laughed.

"Do what you gotta' do," I said in anger.

He returned moments later with my ticket.

At court, I knew the score.

I didn't say even a single word to the prosecutor in my defense. He sent me off to traffic school and told me that the fine would be reduced upon completion of the course. I could do the class over a couple of nights...or in one fell swoop on a Saturday.

I bit the bullet...and gave up this past Saturday...8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Man.

It sucked.

The instructor is a great guy who did his best to make it a little interesting and the class was full of 20-25 year old girls who evidently love tattoos and short shorts.

(Not that I looked at all).

Yet I suffered.

At one point I added up the minutes left and multiplied it by 60 to see how many seconds were left.

Then I attempted to count it out.

I quit after I realized that I had three hours to go!

"Oh Dear Lord," the girl next to me said at one point.

But.

10% reduction on my insurance.

Which I'm sure that my beautiful wife will rebate to me in a certified check.

"How was driver's school, you moron?" Sam asked when I returned home.

I think I actually growled.

Heather Heyer

She was a 32-year old woman who wanted to protest the white supremacists in her town. She got killed for her stance. And it's pretty...